Two days ago, a ninth grade student was arrested at a high school in Texas for bringing in a clock he had made himself to proudly show his teacher, who thought 14-year-old Ahmed had brought her a bomb. After questioning and analysis, once he was released, the police informed Ahmed that he had committed the crime of a “hoax bomb”, having built something that looked like a bomb. What a bum rap!
Hearing this story, SEDS students around the world can think back to their days in high school physics class where everything you made was SO cool and you loved showing it off to your teacher. Still thinking back to ourselves in high school, we are so impressed by Ahmed’s motivation and curiosity for participating in engineering.
SEDS is all about students helping students, and to show our support for Ahmed and for the betterment of primary STEM education, we have started a GoFundMe to send Ahmed to SpaceVision 2015, where he’ll have the opportunity to interact with hundreds of similarly motivated and curious young people and learn about space science and engineering. To balance this traumatic experience with a positive one, we’d like to give Ahmed (and one parent) the gift of travel and lodging to the largest student-run space conference in the world. Please consider contributing to help us make this possible!
Check out this excerpt from SEDS-USA Chair Hannah Kerner’s latest op ed — read the full article on Space.com!
As space scientists, we’re forced to explain how our work translates to people’s daily lives, how we’re helping them directly. In answering the question, “What’s the point?”, in converting the meaning of our work to units of impact on the average citizen, we are forced to dilute that meaning. In answering this question, we claim to be trying to put it “in layman’s terms,” but rather than teaching and fostering understanding, we are mutilating our work into some sort of “spin-off” explanation that feels like a lie.
The right answer is that thinking about problems on scales like the astronomical is good. It is fundamentally worthwhile for humans to push the boundaries of their understanding, to convert the unknown into the known through the power of scientific inquiry.
Rather than “What’s the point?” the question should be, “What does thinking about and understanding these problems mean for humans and for the evolution of humanity as a part of the universe?”
Students, are you interested in writing for Space.com or other top news sources? Contact us! No prior publishing experience is necessary… seriously!
SEDS-USA is kicking off the first SpaceTalks of the semester with Charles Miller. In his speech, he will address the idea of identifying profit opportunities and what that means in the space industry. Miller will talk to us from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m. EST on Thursday Sept. 10 and use the remaining half hour to answer questions from chapter members. SpaceTalks puts you face-to-face with leaders in space, so we encourage chapters to use this opportunity to have Miller answer their questions.
About the speaker:
Charles Miller is the president of space and public policy consultancy NexGen Space LLC – a company that provides client services at the juncture between civil, commercial and national security. As former NASA Senior Advisor for Commercial Space, Miller has led a half dozen NASA commercial space teams responsible for assessing barriers to commercial space projects and satellite servicing, as well as funded space act agreements, commercial reusable launch vehicles and solutions for space debris removal. Miller made a major push to make space exploration more accessible to the masses when he cofounded NanoRacks and founded ProSpace.
SpaceTalks is a Google+ on air Hangout that allows students to speak one-on-one with professional in their fields. While it is ok to watch the SpaceTalk online, we invite chapters to actually be a part of the Hangout. In order to reserve your spot, email email@example.com.
To learn more about SpaceTalks and watch previous installments, visit http://seds.org/spacetalks/.
The latest blog post in the SEDS Student Space column on space news channel Sen is now live! Read this very informative and well-written piece by Arizona State University SEDS member and graduate student, Kara Brugman: http://sen.com/blogs/seds-community/the-next-steps-in-our-search-for-life