Mars Society Education Panel: Washington, D C

 

Bob Barboza will be presenting on the opening of the new Barboza Space Center and participating on the STEM educational panel.  He leads a team of scientists, engineers and educators as they prototype solutions for Martian habits, satellites , robots and science experimental centers.  He works in partnership with Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, California.

http://www.BarbozaSpaceCenter.com

Bob Barboza, USA Occupy Mars Project copy

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Since its founding, the Mars Society has consistently been a major advocate of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, viewing this as a critical need if humanity is ever to begin seriously exploring the solar system, including the planet Mars, and moving in the direction of becoming a multi-planetary species.
As part of this, the Mars Society has organized a special panel discussion on the subject of “STEM Education & the Pathway to the Human Exploration & Settlement of Mars” for the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for September 22-25, 2016 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Participants in the STEM panel discussion will include:

Jennifer Mandel, Director, STEM Program, Lockheed Martin Corp.
Jennifer Mandel is responsible for leading Lockheed Martin’s STEM philanthropic giving and employee volunteerism. Part of her portfolio includes leading Generation Beyond, a program to spark student interest in STEM and inspire the next generation of astronauts and engineers. Prior to this, Ms. Mandel managed strategic communications for the transportation solutions line of business within Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services.

Alyssa Carson, Teen-Age Astronaut-in-Training & STEM Advocate
Alyssa Carson has dreamed about being an astronaut visiting the planet Mars since a young age. A regular participant in NASA space camps and other astronaut-related training programs, Ms. Carson hopes to be among the first persons on the Red Planet in the 2030s. She is also an in-demand public speaker at schools and conferences regarding the importance of STEM education.

Bob Barboza, STEM Advocate & Founder, Kids Talk Radio
A former high school teacher, Bob Barboza is a major proponent of STEM education and space exploration for young students through a variety of related initiatives. Mr. Barboza founded and hosts a popular online podcast called Kids Talk Radio Science and recently established the Barboza Space Center in the Los Angeles area, a teaching and learning platform for future astronauts, engineers and scientists interested in exploring the planet Mars.

Nicole Willett, Panel Moderator & Mars Society Education Director
Nicole Willett is the long-serving Director of Education for the Mars Society and a member of the organization’s Steering Committee. Currently an astronomy instructor at Benedictine Military School in Savannah, Georgia, Ms. Willett authors the Mars Society’s Red Planet Pen blog and serves as a regular contributor to many science-related magazine articles, books and online news sources. In addition, she is an Astronomy Professor at Savannah College of Art & Design and is pursuing her Master’s degree in Astronomy.

For more information about the 2016 International Mars Society Convention, including registration details, a list of confirmed speakers and hotel accommodations in the Washington, D.C. area, please click here. The full program itinerary, including the date/time of the STEM panel discussion, is scheduled for release next week via the Mars Society web site (www.marssociety.org).

Kids Talk Radio Science News for Japan

Bob Barboza met with NanoRacks and visiting German informal scientists and educators on Thursday in San Diego, California and they talked about the Barboza Space Center and its high school STEM teams building collaborative STEM prototypes and planning to launch science experiments aboard the International Space Station.  We are seeking to work with other scientists , educators and engineers.   Contact:   http://www.BarbozaSpaceCenter.com and or Suprschool@aol.com

international_space_station_by_mcsdaver-d46to94NanoRacks Advances International Space Station Utilization

Cape Canaveral, Florida –15 July 2016—NanoRacks is proudly advancing International Space Station (ISS) utilization across a wide range of users – from education to international organizations to professional researchers –both inside and outside of Station– all on one mission. On SpaceX’s Commercial Resupply Mission-9 (SpaceX-9), scheduled for the early hours of Monday July 18, are over 25 payloads that will utilize NanoRacks commercial research facilities both in the U.S. National Lab and external to Station.

“NanoRacks is more than just a satellite deployment company,” says NanoRacks CEO Jeffrey Manber. “We offer a full scope of in-space opportunities, and we are watching the customer base grow larger and broader. NanoRacks will continue to offer the best research accommodations both inside and outside of the International Space Station, and beyond.”

Education and STEM Engagement

Working together, NanoRacks and DreamUp are launching 22 student experiments on the SpaceX-9 mission. Specifically, five of these payloads are being re-flown after being lost on Orbital CRS-3 and SpaceX CRS-7. These payloads come from the CASIS National Design Challenge, including the Awty International School of Houston, Duchesne Academy and the Cristo Rey Jesuit School.

Eaglecrest High School, a NASA HUNCH team, is also on this mission, studying the crystallization of silver nitrate in microgravity on a silver cathode.

Additionally, NanoRacks is launching 15 Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP) MixStix on this mission. SSEP is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE). Including this launch, the NanoRacks-SSEP-DreamUp partnership has engaged over 65,000 students across the United States and Canada to date.

NanoRacks External Platform Customers

The first users of the NanoRacks External Payload Platform (NREP) have payloads on SpaceX-9 as well. Yosemite Space is launching GumStix, a mission is to analyze and evaluate GumStix performance in low- Earth orbit and study if these microprocessors can withstand the radiation environment in space. Additionally, Georgia Institute of Technology is launching Solar Cells, their experiment to study a new type of three-dimensional solar cells and their response to the continually changing sun angles in the harsh environment of space.

Displaying U.S. Leadership

NanoRacks is excited to be launching a student-based experiment that comes from NSL Satellites Ltd., an Israeli organization. The experiment explores whether microgravity affects the mixing of oil bubbles. The data from this investigation will benefit materials research and future mixing methods in space.

NanoRacks is proud to be continuing to grow our international customer base and remain the leading commercial provider of access to space.

New NanoRacks ISS Hardware, and Professional Researchers

As previously announced, NanoRacks is launching a 2nd generation Plate Reader (NanoRacks Plate Reader-2) to the ISS on SpaceX-9. This improved plate reader will provide for a seamless transition from earth-based life sciences research to conducting biological studies in orbit.

Sanford-Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute will be running test microplates as the first to use NanoRacks Plate Reader-2 in orbit, testing spectrophotometer functionality, temperature control, and communications. The plates specifically will study chemical reactions using fluorescence polarization, which produces changes in light when molecules bind together.

This broad range of customers truly highlights all of the possibilities available in low-Earth orbit, and NanoRacks is excited to be facilitating this phenomenon in space.

To join this group of in-space researchers, reach out to NanoRacks at info@nanoracks.com and be sure to follow @NanoRacks on twitter for continued updates.

For media inquiries, please email Abby Dickes at adickes@nanoracks.com

About NanoRacks

NanoRacks LLC was formed in 2009 to provide commercial hardware and services for the U.S. National Laboratory onboard the International Space Station via a Space Act Agreement with NASA. NanoRacks’ main office is in Houston, Texas, right alongside the NASA Johnson Space Center. The Business Development office is in Washington, DC. Additional offices are located in Silicon Valley, California and Leiden, Netherlands.

In July 2015, NanoRacks signed a teaming agreement with Blue Origin to offer integration services on their New Shepard space vehicle. The Company has grown into the Operating System for Space Utilization by having the tools, the hardware and the services to allow other companies, organizations and governments to realize their own space plans.

As of March 2016, over 350 payloads have been launched to the International Space Station via NanoRacks services, and our customer base includes the European Space Agency (ESA) the German Space Agency (DLR,) the American space agency (NASA,) US Government Agencies, Planet Labs, Urthecast, Space Florida, NCESSE, Virgin Galactic, pharmaceutical drug companies, and organizations in Vietnam, UK, Romania and Israel.

XQ America

Laurene Powell Jobs’s XQ America project enters a new phase this Friday

An untold number of schools will be receiving some happy news this coming Friday.

According to an on-stage appearance today at the Female Founders Conference in San Francisco, philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs revealed that a six-month-old national education challenge she’s backing called XQ: The Super School Project, is announcing which U.S. schools advance to the next phase. The competition will ultimately see at least five institutions receive a collective $50 million to try what will be for them entirely new educational approaches.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 6.47.06 PMPowell Jobs spoke about XQ on stage earlier tonight with Russlynn Ali, who worked in the Obama administration’s Education Department as the assistant secretary for civil rights. Ali now heads up XQ and she told attendees that the challenge has clearly struck a chord. In fact, its administrators have now heard from more than 40,000 individuals, including educators and parents, since Powell first made public the project. Ali also said the program has received nearly 700 applications from 49 states. (This includes 10,000 applicants and school designers, meaning individuals who both submitted full applications and those who participated in the design process.)

One of those applicants is Sullivan High School in Chicago, which, like other schools, was asked to come up with a new vision for itself that’s specific to its student population. According to a Chicago Sun-Times story, Sullivan features students from 35 countries, who speak 20 languages, and its principal, parents, and community members have proposed a curriculum that would provide incoming freshmen with time to focus on themselves. It would then ask sophomores to contribute their ideas and time to performing community service and problem solving — ideas the students would be asked to apply to a national level their junior year and a global level during their senior year of high school.

Whether or not Sullivan is ultimately chosen to receive funding and assistance from XQ, both Ali and Powell Jobs emphasized tonight that its ambitions to help schools rethink education is more important than ever, largely given how quickly the nature of work is changing.

Recounting an earlier conversation she’d had with Powell Jobs, Ali told the audience that “schools have been a black box” for too long. The pair also noted that in the last 100 years, the Model T has given way to Teslas, and switchboards have given way to incredible smart phones. Meanwhile, the model for U.S. high schools has remained virtually unchanged.

The pair also noted that while each of the winning schools will likely be addressing issues differently, the schools’ different models, including their learnings, successes and failures will be shared across the entire network. (Powell Jobs added that she expects “many commonalities” among them as well, including “highly relevant, interest-based, experiential learning” that’s “integrated with businesses in the community so that internships are accessible  to every single student.”)

If XQ is at all successful in jump-starting a bigger movement, Americans will hopefully “no longer see time as the proxy for learning but instead the actual mastery of content,” suggested Ali. If not, she seemed to warn, the U.S. could be saddled with both an achievement and opportunity gap that only grows wider from here.

You can learn much more about Project XQ

STEM Jobs: What are they?

A Deep Dive into the New STEM OPT Extension Rule: What Employers, Big and Small, Need to Know

Kids Talk Radio Science will help you to keep on top of the latest news that relates to your future in the world of (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) STEM for more information visit: http://www.BarbozaSpaceCenter.com and http://www.KidsTalkRadioLA.com.

Kids Talk Radio Logo JPEG

On March 11, 2016 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued its final rule for international students with U.S. degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) seeking extension of Optional Practical Training (OPT) (the “Final Rule”) employment authorization. The Final Rule creates a new 24-month STEM OPT extension period along with additional government oversight and substantial new requirements for students, their universities, and their potential STEM employers. International (F-1) students graduating with STEM degrees may now be issued work authorization for up to 36 months if they will work for E-Verify subscribed employers.

The new rule takes effect on May 10, 2016. Additional guidance can be found at the DHS website Study in the States. Specifically, on the STEM OPT Hub there are sections geared for students, schools and employers.

Companies hiring and employing STEM OPT graduates should be aware that the Final Rule will impose new employer requirements and compliance obligations. Consistent with the 2008 Final Rule, employers will still need to be enrolled in E-Verify and remain in good standing with the program. In addition, the Final Rule will require employers to:

  • Implement a formal training program to augment the student’s academic learning through practical experience;

  • Provide an OPT training opportunity that is commensurate with those of similarly situated U.S. workers in duties, hours and compensation;

  • Complete the Form I-983, Training Plan for STEM OPT Students. In this form, you must attest that:

    • The employer has enough resources and trained personnel available to appropriately train the student;

    • The student will not replace a full- or part-time, temporary or permanent U.S. worker; and

    • The training program will assist the student attain his or her training objectives. In this regard, the employer must review and sign a student-completed annual self-evaluation on their training progress; and

  • Report material changes to the STEM OPT student’s employment to the student’s Designated Student Officer (DSO) within 5 business days.

The Final Rule defines “similarly situated U.S. workers” to include U.S. workers performing similar duties and with similar educational backgrounds, employment experience, levels of responsibility and skill sets as the STEM OPT student. The Rule further states, if the employer does not employ and has not recently employed more than two similarly situated U.S. workers, the employer must instead ensure that the terms and conditions of the STEM OPT opportunity they offer is commensurate with those similarly situated U.S. workers employed by other companies of analogous size and industry and in the same area of employment.

Moreover, the Final Rule provides U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with site visit authority. ICE may visit employer worksite(s) to verify whether they are meeting the STEM OPT program requirements, including whether they are maintaining the ability and resources to provide a structured and guided work-based training experience for the STEM OPT student. ICE  will provide notice to the employer at least 48 hours in advance of any site visit, unless the visit is triggered by a complaint or other evidence of noncompliance with the STEM OPT extension regulations. In such cases, ICE may conduct a site visit without notice.

In completing the Form I-983, Training Plan, employers will have to furnish DHS with very specific detailed information, including the employer name, address, website url, number of FTEs in the U.S., NAICS code, as well as the name, title and contact information of the individual (“official”) providing the training.  In addition, employers will have to provide the following details regarding the training program:  OPT training hours, start date of employment/training, compensation (salary, stipend, stock options, housing benefits, tuition cost waivers or other), a description of the training tasks and assignment as well as an explanation of how the training relates to the student’s STEM degree and a description of the training plan goals and objectives, employer oversight and measurement/assessments of the trainee. The completed Form I-983 will accompany the F-1 student’s application for extension of their STEM OPT work authorization document (EAD).

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© Copyright 2016 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP

ABOUT THIS AUTHOR

Gregory Wald, Immigration Attorney, Squire Patton Boggs Law Firm
Shareholder

Gregory Wald’s experience includes representing multinational and Fortune 500 companies and individual clients in all aspects of immigration law including nonimmigrant visas, and immigrant matters regarding multinational executives and managers, individuals of extraordinary ability and professionals.

He has appeared before the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), US Department of Labor, US Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review and various federal courts.

Help us to create the next great battery.

Who wants to help us to create the next great battery?

Most people would conclude that it will be very difficult for young kids in high school to create a better battery.   Some would say they just don’t have the background knowledge and/or  experience.   Well, the students at the Barboza Space Center are going to try.  You can follow our work at http://www.BarbozaSpaceCenter.com.  All of our students want to dive affordable Tesslers while here on Earth.   We need better batteries for the robots and satellites that we are creating for the Occupy Mars Learning Adventures.  We are studying AP Physics for Scientists and Engineers and AP Electro-Chemistry. 

Kids Talk Radio Science will be sending out a message to all of our members and other students around the world.  We want to collaborate in finding a “Better Battery.”  Many of our students have parents that are scientists and engineers and educators with lots of contacts around the world.  You can contact us at Bob@BarbozaSpaceCenter.com or Suprschool@aol.com. 

Visit: http://www.BarbozaSpaceCenter.com  and http://www.KidsTalkRadioLA.com.   

You do need parent permission to participate in any of our programs.  

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Blog #9: Battery Improvements

http://e2af.com/review/091111.shtml

As technology advances, the power output and lifespan of batteries will be expected to advance as well in order to accommodate. Almost every standard lithium ion battery that is currently in existence and use consists of a graphite electrode. While graphite is relatively cheap and durable, silicon, which is now being explored for use in batteries, would offer a much greater power capacity. While it takes six graphite (carbon) atoms to bind to a single lithium ion, a single silicon atom can bind to four lithium ions. Current batteries can be recharged over 500 times and still retain 80 percent of their original capacity; but with the next-generation of silicon batteries, they are expected to last from 700 to 1,000 cycles. From a power output perspective, prototypes of the silicon batteries can store up to 750 watt-hours per liter, a noticeable increase from the 400 to 620 watt-hours per liter for conventional batteries.

http://www.clipartpanda.com/categories/battery-20clipart

Despite the obvious improvements from the graphite battery to the silicon one, there are some significant drawbacks to using this new type of battery. The largest concern for silicon batteries is that the silicon anodes often suffer from structural failure. Because silicon absorbs so many ions, it physically expands to four times its original size. As the batteries are used and recharged, they tend to swell and shrink, causing the battery to fall apart. This obstacle was overcome by making silicon nanowires that do not fall apart. However, this new material brought a challenge of its own. The nanowires proved difficult to bring to market because the new material required custom manufacturing equipment, making it very difficult to produce.

A variety of designs of the silicon-based battery are being explored and experimented with in order to minimize their shortcomings and bring them to the market. One possible solution is to implement the use of nanoparticles, which have silicon at the core and are surrounded by a layer of carbon. Although these nanoparticles store less energy than silicon nanowires, they do not require custom manufacturing equipment and can be used in existing factories. In addition, they seem to help solve the problems associated with silicon’s volume expansion. Another possibility is the mesoporous silicon sponge, which is basically a piece of silicon that’s riddled with holes. This fabricated silicon electrode only expands by 30% rather than 400%, a huge reduction that greatly improves the physical strength of the silicon battery. As more and more designs are formed which improve the functionality of the silicon battery, the closer this more powerful battery gets to making its mark on the world.

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/185999-us-department-of-energy-doubles-lithium-ion-battery-capacity-with-spongy-silicon

Sources:

  1. http://www.technologyreview.com/news/523296/startup-gets-30-million-to-bring-high-energy-silicon-batteries-to-market/
  2. http://forumblog.org/2014/09/top-ten-emerging-technologies-2014/#nanowire
  3. http://www.extremetech.com/computing/185999-us-department-of-energy-doubles-lithium-ion-battery-capacity-with-spongy-silicon

NASA counting on humanoid robots in deep space exploration

High school students at the Barboza Space Center are working with humanoid and other robots in the hopes of one day getting an opportunity to work for NASA and other companies in the aerospace industry.  Our student are learning how to design prototypes. We are part of an XQ team that is working on designing the American high school.  You can follow our work at http://www.KidsTalkRadioLA.com and http://www.BarbozaSpaceCenter.com.   We would like to share this article by Robo Daily……
ROBO SPACE

NASA counting on humanoid robots in deep space exploration
by Tomasz Nowakowski for AstroWatch
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jan 25, 2016


NASA’s R5 robot. Image courtesy NASA.

As humanity moves forward with space exploration, we should prepare for risky and extremely hazardous endeavors such as manned missions to Mars and asteroids. Having fully operational robotic help ready to assist in every dangerous task would be of the utmost importance during long-lasting journeys beyond Earth. NASA is seriously considering this subject matter, ushering new humanoid robots, expected to be space pioneers that could offer astronauts a helping hand in future expeditions.

“NASA is counting on robots to setup and care for deep space exploration facilities and equipment pre-deployed ahead of astronauts. Robots are also excellent precursors for conducting science missions ahead of human exploration,” Sasha Congiu Ellis of NASA’s Langley Research Center, told Astrowatch.net.

That’s why the agency is developing a six-feet tall humanoid robot called R5, previously known as Valkyrie. The machine weighs about 290 lbs., and what’s interesting, it was initially designed to complete disaster-relief maneuvers. In November 2015, NASA awarded two R5 robots to university groups competing in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge (DRC).

One robot is tested by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts under its Robust Autonomy for Extreme Space Environments program. The second one is available for the Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts for its Accessible Testing on Humanoid-Robot-R5 and Evaluation of NASA Administered (ATHENA) Space Robotics Challenge. According to NASA, the teams have two years to perform research and software development in order to improve the robot’s autonomy.

They will be also receiving $250,000 a year for two years and have access to onsite and virtual technical support from the agency. Moreover, the robots will compete in a Space Robotics Challenge through NASA’s Centennial Challenge Program.

“This will be our first hands-on experience with this hardware. We will leverage our lessons learned from the DARPA Robotics Challenge to perform tasks relevant to future space missions with Valkyrie autonomously,” Taskin Padir, the principal investigator of ATHENA at the Northeastern University, told SpaceFlight Insider.

Padir’s team will make contributions in three main areas, constrained motion planning and control, grasping of unknown objects, and human-robot interaction. Their testing strategy will rely on completing these task by progressing from teleoperation to full autonomy.

ATHENA program will include collecting or recovering desired samples or items, such as Mars soil and rocks as well as exiting a habitat airlock hatch and using a ladder to reach the terrestrial surface.

Next test will check if the robot is capable of removing a communications or power cable from a soft-goods storage location and attach it to a connector located at least 33 feet away, while traversing an irregular rocky terrain, like the surface of Mars. The task list concludes with repairing or replacing damaged components on complex equipment, such as a broken valve or a damaged tire on a planetary rover.

Ellis admitted that all these tests are Mars-oriented as the Red Planet is perceived as the next giant leap for humanity in space exploration.

“The universities selected as hosts for NASA robots will be asked to validate tasks like those needed on a Mars mission, pre deploying and setting up equipment ahead of human members of the crew,” she said. Creating more dexterous autonomous robots, designed to operate in extreme space environments could be crucial for expeditions to Mars and beyond. Humanoid machines could easily undertake activities dangerous for future astronauts.

“Extreme space environments are dangerous for humans. And, robots are ideal for dangerous tasks. NASA already has rovers on Mars. This is an effort to advance autonomy of humanoid robots. We will have a better understanding of when and how humanoid robots will help with future deep space exploration missions as we continue our research and development in this field,” Padir said.

In developing R5, NASA can rely on experience coming from its Robonaut project. The latest version of this humanoid robot, Robonaut 2, flew to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2011.

It was built as a prototype to work on Earth but was sent to ISS and is completing regular and repetitive tasks inside the orbital laboratory, like pressing buttons, flipping, switches and turning knobs. It also worked with two tools: the air flow meter and an RFID inventory scanner. In 2014, the robot received a pair of climbing legs to help it move around the station. It is successfully paving way for future more complex humanoid robots like R5.

“NASA has the first of this new class of care taking robot onboard the ISS today. Called Robonaut 2, this system is being used to develop and test new approaches for robots to perform maintenance and repair tasks,” Ellis noted.

The R5 project is a part of NASA’s Game Changing Development Program. Langley Research Center manages this program for the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.

How should we rethink high schools?

Survey Questions for the Super School International High School Project

Mrs. Jobs

Bob Barboza is a school administrator in the USA who is working with a team of scientists, engineers, educators, parents, students and community members to rethink high schools.  We are a part of the XQ Super School Project created by Mrs. Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs from Apple Computer.  Mr. Barboza has created five questions for high school students.  You can answer all five questions or just one.  This new high school is being designed for you and the students that are coming behind you.  We need your help.

Your answers will be posted on the Kids Talk Radio website: http://www.KidsTalkRadioLA.com

1. What would a day be like in a high school that you would like to attend?

2. When you leave high school what would you like to know and be able to do?

3. Describe a teacher that you would like to study with.

4. What kind of a high school would you like our team to build for you?

5. Draw a diagram or sketch of your ideal high school.