ISS Educational outreach has been continually planning and coordinating educational outreach events in the local community. The main focus of these programs is to encourage and inspire students by educating them on the value of space exploration, science and technology. We will hold our annual Illinois Space Day this spring. From rocketry to astronomy, Illinois Space Day will include student representation from various different student groups, all who have one thing in common – to introduce middle and high school students to space and further inspire the exploration of space. There will be plenty of different exhibits from many different student organizations and academic departments, as well as speakers from the aerospace industry. Also, we will be conducting workshops focusing on creating, building and launching model rockets and electronic robotic systems. ISS will once again bring a strong showing to University of Illinois’ Engineering Open House (EOH). EOH is an annual event focused on giving thousands a glimpse into the work being done at the College of Engineering. Through this event, we hope to inspire future engineers over the course of two days. The EOH committee has many new and exciting projects this year, including a scale, moving, floating model of the solar system to both amaze viewers and help them understand the scale involved in space travel. The committee is also creating a satellite attitude control demonstrator, which will consist of a satellite mounted in a gimbal with controllable “thrusters” that release pressurized air. Also, an orbital simulator will demonstrate the warping of space-time by mass using simple concepts, and a dewar of liquid nitrogen will allow kids to enjoy frozen marshmallows while they learn about the issues associated with using cryogenic fuels. Our Educational Outreach group is working enthusiastically on a number of projects this year. These include a three-day rocketry workshop at Holy Cross Elementary, a science day demonstration at Mahomet-Seymour schools, and expanding with more space-related demonstrations with local schools and university groups.
One of the fastest growing programs of ISS, Technical Projects provide hands-on experience to University students to design, build, and fly complex and exciting engineering projects. This year, ISS Tech has acquired over 150 interested members, and will participate in several competitions and projects over the course of the school year. Projects include the construction of three high-powered rockets, scientific payloads, a deploy-able UAV payload, high altitude balloons, junkyard rockets, and two microgravity experiments. Furthermore, all ISS Technical projects serve as inspiring educational outreach tools. The projects will go on display both at Illinois Space Day as well as Engineering Open House. In this setting, young students will get the chance to see the incredible projects available to them at the University level.