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2009 Funded Research

University of Nebraskat at Omaha

University of Nebraska at Omaha

Patrick O'NeilPolicy's Role in the Evolution of Error-tolerance in National Aerospace and Science Administration (NASA)
Dr. Patrick D. O'Neil, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Aviation Institute

Previous High Reliability Organizational (HRO) research reveals that some organizations demonstrate the ability to use high-risk technologies to routinely conduct operations with little or no error. These unique organizations include nuclear power plant operations, Navy aircraft carriers and the FAA's air traffic control (ATC) function. A 76-year longitudinal investigation using an instrument to measure policy- and agency- level error-intolerance studied the development of the FAA's modern ATC function. It was found that ATC service evolved as part of a larger high reliability policy-agency-industry error-intolerant system. A conceptual systems model was constructed to explain how legislative oversight, agency regulatory programs, and industry operations combine into an extremely redundant structure that operates with extremely low error rates. The study of contemporary policy and its affect on NASA operations is a continuation of previous high reliability systems (HRS) research. Evaluating policy and its affect on NASA operations will accomplish two goals. First the investigation will help refine the policy portion of the HRS measurement instrument, making it more accurate. Secondly, the evaluation of current NASA policy against a high reliability, low error model should produce quantifiable actions that can be taken to reduce error in policy that guides and shapes NASA programs and operations. Ultimately, it will aid in the determination of whether or not NASA can adopt high reliability, low error characteristics.

 

NBAA 2009 ConferenceNBAA 2009 Annual Conference
Dr. David Byers, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Aviation Institute

As a collaborative venture between NASA's Space Grant program and the University of Nebraska's (Omaha) Aviation Institute, four students were able to attend the NBAA's Annual Conference & Exhibition in Orlando Florida, held October 20-22, 2009. The NBAA Annual Conference is the premier networking event for business and corporate aviation and serves to bring the business aviation industry together in one location to network, collaborate and to engage in the commerce of aviation. Representatives from every segment of the business aviation industry, from over 82 countries around the world, attend this unique event annually. As part of its continuing career education activities, NBAA hosted a special program for aviation students on Career & Leadership Development. The series of leadership and management development seminars are designed to attract students toward a career in business aviation and to provide the necessary tools for enhancing their performance as future aviation professionals. Students attending this year's Conference included : Michael Cameron (MPA), Nicholas Johnson (ATA), Grant Gargett (ATA) and Justin Idle (ATA). Accompanying the students was Dr. David A. Byers, Associate Professor at the Aviation Institute.

 

Lisa BoucherUsing Remote Sensing Data for Paleobotanical Field Research Exploration in Madagascar
Dr. Lisa Boucher, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Biology Department

The purpose of this project is to explore the use of remote sensing data to help with the location of potential sites and planning of future paleobotanical field research in southwestern Madagascar. The larger goals of the research are to examine the plant fossil record of Madagascar between 65-250 million years ago, a significant time interval in plant evolution, and use it in testing hypotheses about the development of its incredibly diverse flora today. In order to accomplish this research, I am proposing to use this NASA grant to: 1. plan feasible routes to known fossil sites in the Morondava Basin of Madagascar; and 2. detect geologic signatures in exposures that indicate potentially favorable sites. In summary, existing satellite data will be used in palebotanical research, and the results will support other federal grant proposals.

 

Neal GrandgenettNASA Earth System Science Class Involvement
Dr. Neal Grandgenett and Dr. Robert Shuster, University of Nebraska at Omaha, NE 68182

This project is developing a competitive process to offer Space Grant honorariums to teachers who complete the rigorous UNO Earth System Science Education Course and to develop K12 earth science lessons. This project also represents a very focused collaboration between UNO and UNL faculty to jointly increase teacher participation in NASA-related coursework on both campuses. The UNO courses that are being refined in the project are offered in collaboration with the NASA/NSF Earth System Science Education Alliance (ESSEA) and use an innovative online instructional model featuring student-centered, knowledge-building Bob Shustervirtual communities. Each course includes mentoring by a master teacher and an Earth scientist. Course implementation features various units where participants look at Earth System Science issues in depth. Educators work in teams, drawing upon information from NASA websites and Internet resources, to describe "sphere" interactions (i.e., atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere) and eventually design lessons for their own classroom use. Dr. Neal Grandgenett of the UNO Department of Teacher Education and Dr. Robert Shuster of UNO, Department of Geography/Geology are leading the project.

 

Photo Not Yet AvailableAim for the Stars Astronomy Camp
Connie O'Brien, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska 68182

The Aim for the Stars Astronomy camps are among our most popular and fun camps. In Astronomical Adventures Camp, fourth and fifth graders learn about planets, stars and moons in the Durham Science Center's Mallory Kountze Planetarium. They study solar activity with big telescopes on UNO's rooftop observatory. Campers build and launch a rocket and compete in the Great Balloon Race! Sixth- eighth grade Astronomy campers and their parents spend a summer evening viewing the planets and deep-sky objects. These campers also learn how gravity binds our solar systems together or tears them apart. Campers investigate electromagnetic energy in the Mallory Kountze Planetarium. Eighth through tenth graders taking Advanced Astronomy will look for asteroids, search for supernova, listen to the sounds of space, dissect starlight and design experiments. They will conduct space research and publish results in a camp newsletter. Our unique AstroBiology camp, offered to sixth through eighth graders, explores the branch of biology concerned with the quest for extraterrestrial life and the effects of outer space on living organisms. Campers will look for like under a microscope and examine what it takes to sustain life on a planet. Astronomy Camp was a building block of Aim for the Stars Summer Science and Math Camps in 1998 and its descendants continue to set a standard for excellence in informal science and math education.

 

Mahboub BaccouchThe Discontinuous Galerkin Method for Two Dimensional hyperbolic Problems on Triangular Meshes
Dr. Mahboub Baccouch, University of Nebraska at Omaha, NE 68182

Discontinuous Galerkin (DG) method has been under rapid development in recent years as one of the powerful numerical methods to solve various partial differential equations (PDEs), especially convection dominated PDEs in science and engineering. The DG methods are a family of locally conservative, stable and high-order accurate methods that are easily coupled with other well-known methods and that are well-suited to adaptive strategies. For these reasons, they have attracted the attention of many researchers working in computational fluid dynamics, computational mechanics, computational mathematics and computer science. The main advantages of the DG methods include its flexibility in triangulations including non-conforming triangulations, its easiness for hp-adaptivity, its robustness in incorporation of shock capturing techniques such as limiters, and its high parallel efficiency. The PI proposes to study the superconvergence properties of DG solutions of hyperbolic problems on general unstructured meshes. We will perform a numerical and theoretical study of the existence of superconvergent points for DG methods applied to two-dimensional hyperbolic problems on unstructured meshes. The local error analysis will be performed on three types of elements: (i) elements with one inflow and two outflow edges (type I), (ii) elements with two inflow and one outflow edges (type II), and (iii) elements with one inflow edge , one outflow edge and one edge parallel to the characteristics (type III). We will show that the DG solution on elements of type I is superconvergent at the two vertices of the inflow edge. On elements of type II and III, the DG solution is superconvergent at Legendre points on the outflow edges. We will present several numerical results confirming the O(hp+2) pointwise superconvergence rates on all elements. We will use these superconvergence results to construct simple, efficient, and asymptotically correct a posteriori error estimates by solving local hyperbolic problems with no boundary conditions on general unstructured meshes. The error estimation procedure does not require communication across neighboring elements which makes it useful for parallel computations. A posteriori error estimates are needed to guide adaptive enrichment and to provide a measure of solution accuracy for any numerical method. The error estimates will be tested on several linear and nonlinear problems to show their efficiency and accuracy under mesh refinement. We will also propose a new adaptive method on unstructured triangular meshes for scalar conservation laws. An a posteriori error estimate will be used to design the adaptive strategy that automatically refined the triangular mesh during the simulation. We will test our results on adaptively refined unstructured triangular meshes. Finally, the adaptive method is tested by numerical results concerning Burgers equation.

 

Neal GrandgenettOnline Curriculum Modules for Teacher Education
Dr. Neal Grandgenett and Dr. Robert Shuster, University of Nebraska at Omaha, NE 68182

Online learning can be an important catalyst to a deeper involvement of teachers and students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts. The use of the Internet and the resultant access to the many resources available from organizations such as NASA and the National Science Foundation can help make learning more realistic and engaging for both students and teachers alike. This particular project is developing four online learning modules for use by both teachers and their students, in middle school classrooms. Two of the modules are related to Earth System Science (prairie urbanization and tornadoes) and will be submitted for formal review by NASA and its partners in the Earth System Science Education Bob ShusterAlliance (ESSEA). These two modules will be available to a total 40 universities around the country offering ESSEA-related graduate credit coursework for teachers. Two other modules will be part of an evolving national curriculum on educational robotics (GPS and Robotic Vehicles), associated with STEM education efforts from the National Science Foundation. All four modules will be pilot tested and refined within pre-service and in-service education classes at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). Dr. Neal Grandgenett of the UNO Department of Teacher Education and Dr. Robert Shuster of UNO Department of Geography/Geology are jointly leading the project.

AISES2009 American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Conference
Deb Derrick, IS&T, University of Nebraska at Omaha, NE

The NASA Nebraska Space Grant provided support for four Native American students in three colleges at the University of Nebraska at Omaha to travel to the 2009 American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) conference in Portland, Oregon. The annual AISES conference is the nation's foremost event for American Indian and Alaskan Native students pursuing studies in STEM fields. The three-day event included a Career Fair, nationally recognized AISESspeakers, panel discussions, and professional and career development workshops for students. Several of the UNO students presented the results of their research in poster presentations. The students also met professionals from NASA research centers and industry partners such as Lockheed Martin, IBM, and Hewlett Packard. This project supports the NASA Nebraska Space Grant mission to encourage the workforce development of underrepresented students in the STEM disciplines.

 

 

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Hamid VakilzadianModeling and Simulation in Electrical and Computer Engineering: M&S-based Design Approach
Hamid Vakilzadian, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583

The objective of this project is to establish a pilot undergraduate course in modeling and simulation (M&S) for electrical and computer engineering students and to stimulate educational innovation through M&S. This course will provide the students with a means to gain insight into complex concepts in electrical and electronics circuits, and it will help them to solve the design issues that are not feasible any other way. Targeting electrical and computer engineering students, the M&S educational course that will be developed as part of this project will help us start in a path on simulation-based electrical engineering, and it will allow us to graduate skilled electrical and computer engineers who are competitive in the global job market.

 

Carl NelsonNASA Microgravity University Systems Engineering Educational Discovery Project
Carl Nelson, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583

This project consists of participation in the NASA Microgravity University program through a team of undergraduate students from UNL. The specific task assigned to the team has to do with evaluation of a suitlock concept (a compact type of airlock for entering/exiting space suits for extra-vehicular activities). The team will design and build an experimental apparatus for this evaluation and perform tests on board an aircraft in parabolic flight to simulate reduced gravity conditions.

 

Photo Not Yet AvailableProcurement of Equipment for Development and Validation of Boundary Manikins Using Principal Component Analyses
Ram Bishu, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583

At JSC, NASA, a new Exploration Vehicle (CEV) is in the process of being designed and constructed. Because of this a number of new research needs have sprouted at Johnson Space Center Human Factors group. One of these is the development of Constellation Space Suit System (CSSS) which would include Launch and Entry Suit (LEA), Extra vehicular activity Suit (EVA) and an Automatic Crew Escape System Suit (ACES). A necessary requirement for the development of CSSS is the sizing issues and how this will impact provision of design guidelines. This mini grant proposal deals with CSSS. Sets of boundary manikins are being developed, encompassing a range of sizes from 1st to 99th for a given anthropometric parameter using the Principal component analysis (PCA). Three component PCAs have been performed on the data. The raw data has been projected into PCA space and boundary conditions are being derived. A new approach to this problem has been found. This has been made possible by involving a faculty member from the Stat Department, who is an expert in multi variate analyses. As principal component analyses and other work are computationally intense, funding is being requested through this mini grant for procuring computers and software.

 

Dave GosselinEarth Systems Literacy for Educators: Professional Development Support
Dave Gosselin and Cindy Larson-Miller, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583

This project offers special honorariums to 15 teachers who successfully complete the rigorous online UNL Earth system science education courses, known as the Laboratory Earth series. The Laboratory Earth courses are virtual teacher-, knowledge-, assessment-, and community- centered courses that seek to improve teachers' content knowledge of and teaching skills related to Earth Systems Science. These courses include: Earth and Its Systems, Earth's Natural Resource Systems, Earth's Changing Systems, and Earth's Goespatial Technologies. These graduate level courses (with four modules in each course) were designed to meet a variety of learning styles and appeal to teachers' intrinsic motivation to learn the content and improve their teaching. The honorariums will be used to help recruit teachers for the distance delivered courses, and to support their development of high K 12 quality classroom lessons and activities.

 

Photo Not Yet AvailableEnhancement of Online Physics Courses, General Physics I & II, with NASA Education Materials
Prof. Gregory Snow, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583

This NASA Nebraska Space Grant Higher Education Mini-Grant will support the integration of online educational materials developed by NASA to enhance two online, introductory physics courses being developed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The calculus-based courses are entitled General Physics I and II. General Physics I covers classical mechanics, heat, and sound. General Physics II covers electricity, magnetism, light, and geometric optics. NASA educational materials will be obtained from open-source NASA websites that provide teaching materials to educators. Particularly useful are the NASA video learning clips on topics such as Newton's laws of motion and gravity (Gravity and the Tethered Satellite, The Constant Pull of Gravity: How Does It Work?), optics (Optics: Light, Color and Their Uses), and angular momentum (Angular Momentum, Inertia and the Tethered Satellite). The project team will be guided by NASA education specialists to find, integrate, and assess additional, level-appropriate online physics education materials in the online courses. UNL's online distance education courses are open to all students, independent of age and location. They are especially appealing to non-traditional students for whom the traditional university classroom setting is either inappropriate or impractical. This includes students with physical or learning disabilities, adult learners who work full-time (many of whom are from underrepresented groups) and rural students.

 

Photo Not Yet AvailableDesign and Construction of a Prototype LIDAR Enhancement Detector for the Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory
Prof. Gregory Snow, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583

This NASA Nebraska Space Grant Research Mini-Grant will provide student support, materials/supplies, and instrument shop labor to produce an atmospheric monitoring detector which will represent an enhancement to the existing LIDAR atmospheric monitoring system for the world's largest cosmic ray experiment, the Pierre Auger Observatory (http://www.auger.org). The Observatory has a completed and operating site in the southern hemisphere, in the Province of Mendoza in western Argentina. The LIDAR system (LIDAR - Light Detection and Ranging) is a laser-based system which provides a calibration for the energy measurements of extensive cosmic ray air showers made by the four Fluorescence Detectors (FD) of the Observatory. Since its installation, we have discovered the following weakness in the LIDAR system. Although the existing LIDAR system detects laser light back-scattered from a distance of 1 to 5 km in front of the LIDAR laser, the geometric and optical design of the system does not allow us to detect back-scattered light that comes from the first kilometer in front of the laser. The UNL team has accepted the responsibility of correcting this weakness with the addition of a "near-field" detector at each LIDAR station. The near-field detector will consist of a small-diameter mirror and photomultiplier tube located next to the existing LIDAR mirrors. This enhancement will allow us to make a complete atmospheric clarity profile which will provide a more precise calibration of the FD measurement and hence strengthen the cosmic ray science accessible to the Observatory. This proposal requests support for our group to design and construct a prototype of the near-field detector as a proof of principle project. We will be guided in this project by LIDAR experts at NASA.

 

Kevin ColeAerospace Education and Outreach
Dr. Kevin Cole, Mechanical Engineering, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583

This year the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has recognized a new club, a student chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). The primary activity of the AIAA student chapter will be to participate in the annual Cansat competition which is an annual event organized by AIAA and the American Astronautical Society (www.cansatcompetition.com). The purpose of the competition is to design and build a small satellite, about the size of a pop can. The satellite will be launched on a rocket provided by the competition and must perform several tasks, including transmitting altitude and GPS information, photographing its landing site, and transmitting measured ground temperature data. The competition takes place from June 12-14, 2009, in Amarillo, Texas. The team includes students from four engineering departments: Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical, and Computer Science. Other activities planned for the new AIAA student chapter include trips to nearby aerospace industries, trips to nearby aerospace musuems, and outreach to middle school and high school students.

Dave GosselinEarth Systems Literacy for Educators: Professional Development Support II
Dr. Dave Gosselin & Cindy Larson-Miller, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, NE 68583

This project will develop a competitive process to offer special honorariums to 15 teachers who successfully complete the rigorous online UNL Earth system science education courses, known as the Laboratory Earth series. The honorariums will be used to help recruit teachers for the distance delivered courses, and to support their development of high K12 quality classroom lessons and activities.

 

 

University of Nebraska - Kearney

University of Nebraska - Kearney

Dr. Liubov KreminskaTEST OF NEW APPROACHES TO ALIGN THE LYOTROPIC CHROMONIC LIQUID CRYSTALS (LCLC)
Dr. Liubov Kreminska, Department of Physics and Physical Science, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kearney, NE 68849

We plan to develop a new material which exhibits a high degree of orientational order. In particular, we propose to use lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals (LCLCs) to form thin uniform films. These films have many characteristics desirable to the material science, optics and engineering communities as well as displays and telecommunications industries. These new materials have applications as polarizers sensitive to a specific controllable spectral band, optical isolators, compensators, micropatterned elements and gratings. The design of thin film polarizers is part of the general trend in nanoscience - to miniaturize the optical elements to the dimensions analogous to their electronic counterparts. The method of mechanical shearing for deposition of the thin layer of LCLC of a thickness of a few hundred nanometers previously was shown to be an effective way to improve the optical quality. We will dope the LCLC mixture with nanoparticles, to improve orientation of aggregates in the film. The proposed project involves a series of investigations ultimately aimed at understanding the alignment process of LCLC aggregated material in thin layers.

 

Michael LarsenDevelopment of Precipitation Monitoring Systems for a Distributed Rain-Sensing Network.
Dr. Michael L. Larsen, Department of Physics and Physical Science, University of Nebraska at Kearney

Recent research in atmospheric microphysics has revealed spatial and temporal fluctuations of atmospheric particulates on an extremely wide variety of scales - from microns to thousands of kilometers and from microseconds to months. It has become increasingly apparent that a complete statistical description of all atmospheric particulates - including aerosols, cloud drops, and rain - will require studies spanning a large number of different scales. Using high-end scientific equipment for all of these studies, however, would be prohibitively expensive and perhaps overkill for some of the very basic science that has yet to be done. This project explores affordable alternatives to expensive rain sensing instruments that could be widely and affordably replicated while still recording scientifically useful data. Ultimately, we hope to develop a prototype for one or more instruments that can be (1) produced affordably in bulk, (2) determine approximate size and arrival time of individual raindrops, and (3) can used to learn more about the microphysics of rain, its production, evolution, and scaling properties.

 

 

Creighton University

Creighton University

 

Charles BrockhouseProteomics of a Novel Highly Adsorptive Natural Polymer
Charles Brockhouse and Gary Xiao, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 68178

Our study is aimed at resolving the physical structure and post-translational modifications in a novel, highly adsorptive, biological polymer produced by black fly larvae (Diptera: Simuliidae). Simuliid larvae use the polymer as a biological glue, to adhere to the substrate in rapidly flowing water, and to weave a proteinaceous pupal tent. We will apply 2-dimensional electrophoresis, phosphor- and glycol-protein specific staining, mass spectrometry and stable isotope analysis to a variety of species living in different lotic regimes. We will perform structure/functional analysis by searching for features that are shared among distantly related species inhabiting the same environment but not shared by species inhabiting distinct environments.

 

Gintaras DudaIndirect Detection of Dark Matter in Non-Standard Cosmologies
Gintaras K. Duda, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physics, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 68178

Standard Big Bang Cosmology provides a concrete method for theoretically determining the abundance of neutralino dark matter at the present epoch. It is critical for the relic abundance of neutralinos to match the experimental observations of the dark abundance in our galaxy and universe overall. However, most dark matter models generically predict too little or too much dark matter and most of the theoretical parameter space has been ruled out by dark matter searches. A successful extension to the standard model should predict the dark matter density without too much fine-tuning. One way of evading this problem is to deal with non-standard cosmological models. For example, if the early Universe were dominated by the energy density of scalar field (which then decays leading to the era of radiation dominance), the standard production scenario of neutralinos can be altered in important ways. The purpose of this work is 1) to determine if neutralinos, produced through non-standard cosmology scenarios such late-decay of scalar particles, can act as the majority or even a sub-dominant component of the dark matter in our galaxy and universe and 2) to determine if dark matter indirect detection experiments can shed light on and restrict parameters from models with late-decaying scalar fields. This project will analyze various theoretical scenarios in which dark matter using computer simulation and analytic calculations to determine if dark matter in this form is detectable by current and future experiments.

 

Photo Not Yet AvailableNonstationary Correlations between Atlantic Hurricane Activity and Indices of West African Precipitation
Dr. Jon Schrage, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 68178

Long-range forecasts of annual hurricane activity are produced each year by a number of research groups at universities and governmental research institutions around the country. These forecasts utilize known correlations between different measures of hurricane activity and various, predictable environmental factors, such as the phase of El Nino in the Pacific Ocean or sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic. One such factor is the strength of the West African monsoon; historically, researchers have "known" that wet years in West Africa are associated with unusually active hurricane seasons, whereas drought years have comparatively few hurricanes. However, starting in about 1995 this correlation began to break down, and by about 2000 most forecasters had stopped incorporating the West African monsoon in their seasonal hurricane forecast altogether. Dr. Jon Schrage at Creighton University and Dr. Andreas Fink at the University of Cologne have examined the collapse of this statistical relationship using a variety of measures of the strength of the West African monsoon, and they have found the correlation between West African rainfall and the Atlantic hurricane season is only strong in years when most other factors (such as sea surface temperatures or wind shear) are unfavorable for hurricane formation. In other words, when other factors are favorable, the strength of the rainy season in West Africa simply is not a useful predictor of the concurrent hurricane activity. The perceived breakdown of the correlation in recent years, therefore, is better interpreted as normal behavior of the relationship, with the extremely favorable conditions in the Atlantic since 1995 simply overriding the effects of West African rainfall. With financial support from the NASA/Nebraska Space Grant, this research will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Climate.

 

Photo Not Yet AvailableTechnology and High-Impact Weather Events in Nebraska and South Dakota: A Weather Break Special Series
Dr. Jon M. Schrage, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 68178

For more than two years, the students and the faculty of the Creighton University Department of Atmospheric Sciences have produced Weather Break - a daily, 5-minute radio program that addresses issues associated with weather, climate and the environment. Targeting a weather-sensitive, rural audience, the program airs on two radio stations in Nebraska and South Dakota, and it is also distributed online to approximately 300 weather enthusiasts in the region. With financial support from the NASA/Nebraska Space Grant, the Weather Break team is producing a special series of 20-22 episodes on "Technology and High-Impact Weather." These special episodes will emphasize the ways in which atmospheric scientists use high-technology equipment to monitor severe weather and other environmental conditions. The goal is to build an appreciation of and support for STEM careers in the region.

 

College of Saint Mary

College of Saint Mary

Ganesh NaikENCOURAGING YOUNG WOMEN IN SCIENCE THROUGH INTERACTIVEWORKSHOPS
Dr. Ganesh Naik, College of Saint Mary, Omaha, NE 68106

Encouraging Young Women in Science through Interactive Workshops is a new program at College of Saint Mary that will promote young women to pursue careers in the sciences. Each semester, female area high school students will be invited to attend a one-day workshop and participate in hands-on science and math activities and demonstrations. The workshops will be designed and overseen by College of Saint Mary faculty but conducted by College of Saint Mary science and math undergraduates, allowing both the high school and college students to gain confidence and hone their STEM skills. Activities will include electrochemistry of battery, plasma generation and EKG measurements. The first Interactive Workshop will be held on April 2, 2009.

Nebraska Indian Community College

Nebraska Indian Community College

 

Photo Not Yet AvailableWater and Soil Evaluation on the Omaha and Isanti Reservations, "A Cultural Approach to Conservation Utilizing Modern Science"
Hank Miller, MBS, Director of Natural Resources, Nebraska Indian Community College, Macy, NE 68039

This research will take water and soil samples at select locations along the Missouri river. After analysis, the soil and water conditions at these selected sites will be determined. GIS/GPS technologies will be used for establishing project site locations and imagery to document locations. Presently, water quality on both the Santee and Macy reservations is very poor. This project would establish a data set to work off of with hopes of determining where and why contamination is so prevalent. This project is simple. Select key spots along the Missouri, taking samples from both sides of the river, and establish a water and soil data set; testing for composition and contaminants. With this information, collectively, we will be able to identify some of the soil and water quality issues that exist on the Omaha and Isantee reservations. We feel that the information gained through this project will help us to improve the health and quality of our reservation people and their resources.

 

 

Photo Not Yet AvailableUsing GIS/GPS Technologies to Take Water & Soil Test Readings along the Missouri River
Dawn Hair, Nebraska Indian Community College, Macy, NE 68039

Soil and water testing equipment will be purchased to facilitate our research. This research is designed to take water and soil test readings from both sides of the river at select locations along the Missouri river. We want to know the soil and water conditions at these sites. GIS/GPS technologies will be used for establishing project site locations and imagery to document locations. Presently, water quality on both reservations is very poor. This project would establish a data set testing for composition and contaminants. With this information, we will be able to identify some of the soil and water quality issues that exist on the Omaha and Isantee reservations. This data can be built upon for years to come and will open the doors to other research on our respective reservations. We feel that the information gained through this project will help us to improve the health and quality of our reservations.

Western Nebraska Community College

Western Nebraska Community College

 

Bill SpurgeonCommunity Action Partnership of Western Nebraska IT Internship
Bill Spurgeon, Western Nebraska Community College, Scottsbluff, NE 69361

Western Nebraska Community College (WNCC) is collaborating with Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska (CAPWN) to provide an Information Technology (IT) internship. WNCC also has a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that provides Scholarships for IT and Engineering (SITE) students who have a financial need and have academic talent. A SITE scholarship student will intern with CAPWN to help install and upgrade software, setup a Windows Service update server, help with other network issues and perform general helpdesk duties.

Tom RobinsonAstronomy Lab Astrophotoagraphy
Mr. Tom Robinson, Western Nebraska Community College, Scottsbluff, NE 69361

In the hope of generating interest in STEM careers, this project will get students hands on experience operating computer controlled telescopes to capture images from deep space objects. These images will be processed post-capture by working with students studying graphics design as well as web page development. The college will provide space on a server for students to post their work on this project.

 

 

Omaha Astronomical Society

Robert DunnOmaha Astronomical Society Astronomical Resource Expansion and Renovation
Robert Dunn, OAS, Omaha, NE 68130

The Omaha Astronomical Society makes equipment available for loan to OAS members. The use of this equipment is for hands-on, night time observation of astronomical features of the sky as visible from various locations in the eastern Nebraska and western Iowa communities, in and around the Omaha metropolitan area. The results of these activities include the improvement of astronomical viewing and equipment operation skills of OAS members, the use of those enhanced skills in personal Omaha Astronomical Societyand outreach events, and a higher quality of outreach instruction when given by OAS members to the general public receiving the benefit of participation in an OAS event. The Society would like to update and expand the equipment they make available for loan to its members. Equipment that is obtained with this grant money will be available for 90 day checkout to Omaha Astronomical Society members for their use. Members will use the new telescopes to learn about the operation of the various types of telescopes and about the celestial bodies visible in local skies in their area at various times of the year. Equipment use also includes, and preference is given, to use for outreach activities of the OAS as an educational organization.

Strategic Air and Space Museum

Strategic Air and Space Museum

Photo Not Yet AvailableBrainstorm Workshop
Jeff Barnhart, Strategic Air and Space Museum, Ashland, NE 68003

A workshop for educators and the general public to help them teach and understand the Human Body and Anatomy of the Brain. Offering four dynamic sessions with guest speakers from throughout the Midwest to over 350 educators and to general public. Guest speakers include: Autism Action & UNMC Monroe Meyer Institute - Author on Autism; Children's Hospital - ADHD/Sleep Challenges in today's student; TBA: Behavior Health Challenges; TBA: Coping with Alzheimer's/ Parkinson's.

 

Nebraska Department of Aeronautics

ACE CampA.C.E. Camp 2009
David Morris, Aviation Specialist, Nebraska Department of Aeronautics, Lincoln, NE 68524

For many years, the Department of Aeronautics has embarked on a vigorous aviation education program designed to reach the youth of America with ideas and opportunities for careers in aviation. This program is our Aerospace Career Exploration (ACE) camp designed for youth 13-17 years of age. The camp is geared toward motivating, inspiring and challenging our young people to follow their dreams. Our ACE camp also provides the opportunity to develop an awareness of the role of aviation in our society and to encourage students to explore career opportunities in the field of aviation. ACE Camp 2009 is scheduled from June 14-19. Students will be housed at Platte River State Park and the Strategic Air & Space Museum will be an active partner throughout the camp. With an exciting schedule, events include classroom instruction, hands on activities throughout the museum, three field trips and a cross-country flight in an aircraft. The number of students accepted is generally limited to the first 25 applicants. Each year the camp typically fills prior to the published registration ending date. ACE wraps up on Friday the 19th with a graduation ceremony at the Strategic Air & Space Museum theatre; family and guests are encouraged to attend the Friday activities. For further information on the Aerospace Career Exploration camp contact David Morris, Nebraska Department of Aeronautics, at 402-471-2371 or e-mail David.Morris@nebraska.gov

Nebraska Civil Air Patrol

Nebraska Civil Air Patrol

Photo Not Yet Available99th Pursuit Composite Squadron - Aerospace Education
Michael A. Thomas, Lt Col, CAP, Deputy Commander, Civil Air Patrol, USAF Auxiliary, Bellevue, NE, 68123

 

The cadets have begun a three phase Rocketry program. This program provides hands on, rocket building, and study to include lessons, lecture and testing on rocket history, Newton's laws and the science of rocketry. Rocketry's three phases cover water and gas pressure propulsion; and then pyrotechnic propellant study and launches; and finishes with multiple stage rockets and launches. Cadets will fire for altitude and measure the altitude with handheld altimeter devices. Design evaluations are also made for each rocket. As part of this project, we will take our cadets to the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson Kansas. The purpose is to motivate youth in the space program by visit and participation in Rocket building, special tours, IMAX, planetarium, and Dr. Goddard's laboratory. Additionally, we plan to visit the space shuttle simulator and the mission control room at the Cosmosphere. This phase of our program is critical to building inner city youths interest in math, science, and space exploration.