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2011 News Archive



Pleasanton High School in NE is one of the 12 schools across the U.S. selected to participate in the SSEP Mission 1 to the International Space Station

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), in partnership
with NanoRacks LLC, has selected 12 communities across the U.S. to participate in the third Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) flight opportunity - SSEP Mission 1 to the International Space Station (ISS) - reflecting involvement by 92 elementary, middle and high schools. The SSEP Mission 1 communities are providing 41,200 students the opportunity to participate, and nearly 1,000 student team proposals are expected. The 12 communities are in California, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Ohio, Texas, and the District of Columbia. Half of the communities participated in SSEP on the final two flights of the Space Shuttle. The Mission 1 experiment design competition takes place October through December 2011, with the 12 selected flight experiments scheduled to fly to ISS on Soyuz 30 in March 2012. “SSEP is designed to empower the student as scientist, and within the real-world context of science. Student teams design a real experiment, propose for a real flight opportunity, experience a formal proposal review process, and go through a NASA flight safety review. They even have their own science conference, where they are immersed in their community of researchers”, said Dr. Jeff Goldstein, creator of SSEP and NCESSE Center Director. “The 2011 SSEP conference was held at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, which was a fantastic setting for the next generation of America’s scientists and engineers - some just 10 years old - to report on their experiment results. SSEP is about introducing real science to our children.” Read More. For more information about SSEP visit their website.

NASA Finds Money for UNO Study

Nick Stergiou, a NASA Nebraska EPSCoR project PI at UNO, was featured in a great article in the Omaha World-Herald on November 16,2011. View the article about his funded project including a photo and video. Full Article.

NASA Creates Human Exploration and Operations Directorate

NASA has announced the creation of the Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) mission Directorate. The new organization, which combines the Space Operations and Exploration Systems mission directorates, will focus on International Space Station operations and human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. "America is opening a bold new chapter in human space exploration," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "By combining the resources of Space Operations and Exploration Systems, and creating the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, we are recommitting
ourselves to American leadership in space for years to come." Read More.

Nebraska Space Grant Fellow Receives Fulbright

Congratulations to Neil Huben, a NASA Nebraska Space Grant fellow, for receiving a Fulbright Scholar grant to conduct research at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, during the 2011-2012 academic year. Huben will conduct research examining the effects of visual and auditory stimulation on postural sway and balance.


Congratulations to Space Grant Fellows Tom Frederick and Tyler Wortman. They are recent recipients of 5-year NSF Fellowships!

Congratulations to Space Grant Fellow Nate Otten who recently received an honorary mention in the Goldwater Fellowship!

Nebraska Department of Education Receives $750,000 NASA Grant

Nebraska schools with 21st Century Community Learning Centers will focus on boosting science and mathematics education for students under a new $750,000 NASA grant awarded to the Nebraska Department of Education. The program takes flight this summer, introducing teachers of fourth through eighth graders to NASA curriculum by providing professional development in hands-on activities on four topics: robotics, rocketry, aviation and near and outer space. The NASA curriculum will be introduced to teachers through regional workshops offered in Omaha, Lincoln, Columbus, Kearney and the panhandle. Forty hours of professional development will be provided each year in collaboration with the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, NASA Nebraska Space Grant Consortium and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension. Read More.

Lincoln's Zoo School Students Selected for Student Spaceflight Experiment to board the last Space Shuttle Launch

The Lincoln students' experiment was chosen out of four proposals from Lincoln schools and will join about 20 others from across the nation aboard the shuttle.

It's part of a private venture by the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program. The experiments were reviewed by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education, and three finalists were sent to a national review board.

The winning research question was: "Does the stress response of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii growing in microgravity differ from the stress response of C. reinhardtii grown in normal gravity when it is stressed with 100mm of saline?" Read Full Article.

An Out of This World Experience: KLKN Channel 8 News, May 27, 2011
View Video

NASA Nebraska Space Grant hosted two symposia for Student Spaceflight Experiement Program in April

The launch of STS-134, originally scheduled for April 19 slipped 10 days to April 29. Unfortunately, the OPS and Seattle Public Schools students with experiments aboard Endeavor were unable to change their travel plans for the April 29 launch. Nebraska Space Grant hosted a behind the scenes tour of Kennedy Space Center where students were able to visit the launch pad and press site. The following day, Seattle and Omaha students presented their research and heard from Kennedy Space Center officials at the symposium.

Nebraska Space Grant was also committed to the other 13 teams who changed their travel plans to the new launch date of April 29. Unfortuantely, after arriving at Kennedy Space Center 5 hours early for the launch, the launch was once again postponed. However, the symposium the next day was an incredible experience for the students and teachers to share what the experience has meant to them and their future engagement in STEM. More Info on SSEP: SSEP Website & NASA ISS Website.

NASA Nebraska Space Grant Hosts Annual Conference and Technical Advisory Committee Meeting

The Annual NASA Nebraska Space Grant Conference was held in conjunction with the Nebraska Academy of Sciences on April 15, 2011. The day included 53 NASA Nebraska Space Grant and EPSCoR presentations from students and researchers. The Technical Advisory Committee meeting followed in the afternoon. More Info.

NAS 2011NAS 2011NAS 2011NAS 2011

NASA Nebraska Space Grant Announces Mini-Grant and Fellowship Competitons

NASA Nebraska Space Grant is now accepting applications for Mini-Grants and Fellowships. Applications are due May 16, 2011. The funding period is September 1, 2011 to May 31, 2012. Apply Now!

NASA Nebraska Space Grant and EPSCoR funded faculty and students to present at annual conference

All 2010 funded Space Grant and EPSCoR researchers and students are invited and strongly encouraged to submit an abstract for presentation at the Aeronautics and Space Science Section of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting. The date for the meeting is Friday, April 15, 2011. More Details Here.

UNL AIAA Club Competes in the Design-Build-Fly Competition in Wichita, KS.

The club has successfully flown their just-completed airplane dubbed "Red Horizon." The team raised $1,700 from UNL sources to build their plane. See photos here.

UNL Aerospace club placed 4th amoung 20 International Teams at the CANSAT Competition, with an award of $750

Congratulations to the UNL CANSAT Team! See the rankings here.

Robotics Expo Aims to Increase Students' Interest in Science, Tehcnology

Nebraska students will get a hands-on glimpse of robotics Jan. 30 during the Nebraska Robotics Expo, a collaboration between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and others. The event, scheduled at the Strategic Air and Space Museum near Ashland, will feature more than 400 elementary, middle and high school students from 60 schools across the state. Read Full Press Release.

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