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OU SEDS (University of Oklahoma) Chapter Update 4/29/11

April 30, 2011 in Chapter Updates by SEDS OU

We’ve been holding sidewalk astronomy events on our main campus thoroughfare every couple of weeks with our 8″ Dobsonian telescope (new this semester, purchased with student government funding). This has probably been the most successful and purposeful thing we’ve ever done. Responses from the many passersby have been amazing. We’ve also been joined on one such occasion by a member of the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club, Christian Bruggeman, who brought in a 12″ Dobsonian.

The night of April 29, we hosted Dr. Susan Postawko, a planetary scientist from our Department of Meteorology at the National Weather Center. 20 to 30 people showed up to hear her talk about past, present, and future climates of Mars. Officer elections were held the same night, yielding President Adrian Lucy (astrophysics), Vice-President Amber Williams (meteorology), Treasurer Mathew Smeltzer (aerospace engineering), and Secretary Jodi Berdis (astronomy).

Our 2011-2012 budget currently stands at $620, granted by our student government. We will be pursuing additional funding from the Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium, and plan to send some members to SpaceVision 2011.

Our new Facebook page, replacing the old group: OU SEDS — http://www.facebook.com/pages/OU-SEDS/105217029565561

Our Twitter, now under new management: @sedsou — https://twitter.com/sedsou

If you’d like to be on our email list, let us know at seds@ou.edu or ou@chapter.seds.org!

ASGSB – SEDS Chapter Update 4-29-11

April 29, 2011 in Chapter Updates by SEDS ASGSB

ASGSB- SEDS – Quarterly Report – April 2011

New Member

Chelsey Robinson, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

Awards & Honors

Ashley Gravelle (Midwestern State University)

·Outstanding Analytical Chemistry Student

·Outstanding Graduating Professional Student (American Chemical Society)

Christina Johnson (Miami University of Ohio)

·New inductee to Sigma Xi (Scientific Research Society)

Accepted to Graduate School

Our following member(s) were accepted to graduate schools

·Ashley Gravelle has been accepted for a master’s program with Dr. Stan Roux, a space biologist, at The University of Texas, Austin.

SEDS Space Letter

·Our group collected 35 signatures for this letter to policymakers.  Signatures were from university students and recent graduates from 12 universities across the US.  Good work!

Lectures / Seminars

· On April 12, student Christina Johnson gave a presentation about microbes in bioregenerative life support systems at Miami University of Ohio.  The audience was small but attentive.  The lecture was followed by an hour of questions on the topic.

· On April 25, space researcher Dr. Elison Blancaflor from the Noble Foundation gave a speech entitled “Tales of Discovery: Boldly Going Where No Mustard Plant Has Gone Before” at Midwestern State’s Annual College of Science & Mathematics Banquet.  Dr. Blancaflor is our student Ashley Gravelle’s research mentor.  Photo is of Ashley and Dr. Blancaflor.

Research Presentations

Texas Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol – February 14, 2011

· Ashley Gravelle (Midwestern State University) presented her poster entitled “Brassinolides Promote the Gravitropic Response of Maize Roots by Disrupting Actin Filament Organization.” Photo of Ashley with her poster.

Texas Academy of Science 114th Annual Meeting – March 3-5, 2011

· Ashley Gravelle gave an oral presentation entitled “Brassinolides Promote the Gravitropic Response of Maize Roots by Disrupting Actin Filament Organization.”  Photo is of Ashley preparing to speak.

Miami University of Ohio’s 17th Annual Undergraduate Research Forum – April 13, 2011

·Katharine Huntoon presented her poster entitled “Phototropism is enhanced in seelings grown in fractional gravity on the ISS.”  Photo is of Katharine and space researcher Dr. Kathy Millar standing beside the poster.

Education Outreach Efforts

Distribution of The High Frontier - Ongoing

·10 copies ordered for libraries in Saint Louis

·2 copies ordered for high school science classrooms in northern Los Angeles

Visit to 8th Grade Physical Science Classes at Mad River Middle School in Riverside (Dayton), Ohio – February 4, 2011

·Student member Christina Johnson visited science classrooms at a middle school in Dayton, Ohio to share her experience with space research, and to encourage an interest in science.

At the end of her presentations, she asked the students to respond to the following question – What will you research, and where?  Some memorable responses from these young students:

·Taylor Holman

I’d study astronomy, the stars and planets.  I’d study it in the center of the galaxy.  I’d see if I can discover any new planets or star constellations, maybe witness a new star being born or watch the start of a black hole.

·Shawn Derdue

I would study Astrobiology.  The place where I would study is on Mars because I wouldn’t have to sit at a desk all day.  You would get to look at things you haven’t seen before.

·Grayson T.

I would like to make it possible for the lack of gravity to not be in affect on space stations and shuttles.  Not just in one area.  I would do a lot of research and experiments to make this possible.  From the information we have now we could make a bigger accomplishment.

·Marissa Reece Varner

If I were to study space I would study … the health of people in space (Space Medicine). I would study this because it is interesting to me how the body reacts in space.  The way your organs and blood, cells, and all of that (especially the brain) is something that has had me wondering for a while.

Outreach Preparations for ASGSB Annual Meeting – San Jose, CA – November 4-6, 2011

·Bay Area K-12 teachers will be invited to a workshop on teaching space science in the classroom, taught by AIAA education specialists

·Student members will meet with science classes at an economically disadvantaged school to introduce them to basic concepts of space research, and encourage university education.

·Student members handed off a comprehensive list of universities and colleges in the SF bay area to our friends at NASA-Ames.  They are contacting biology departments to invite students to attend the ASGSB annual meeting at a special inexpensive day-rate.

Political Outreach Efforts

Congressional Visit Days – Washington, DC – March 15 – 22, 2011

Three of our students participated in lobbying efforts alongside AIAA & ASGSB during their joint Congressional Visit Days:

·Pedro Jofre (Purdue)

·Chelsey Robinson (SIU, Edwardsville)

·Christina Johnson (Miami of Ohio)

Students suggested an organized and increased student lobbying effort to ASGSB executive officer.  She seemed responsive to the idea of a funding line for an exemplary undergraduate student to spend their summer working with ASGSB in Washington DC to further aid in the ongoing political efforts.  We must have a formal proposal ready before November’s meeting for such a program to begin in 2012.


Still a preliminary effort at https://sites.google.com/a/seds.org/asgsb-seds/home

Random Happy Announcements

Ashley Gravelle and her sweetheart Regis Cannon got engaged this quarter – she couldn’t even get away from her microscope for the photo shoot.


Harvard SEDS Chapter Update – 4/25/2011

April 25, 2011 in Chapter Updates by SEDS Harvard

Harvard SEDS organized a tour of the Chandra Mission Control Center.

Harvard SEDS is competing in the SEDS High Power Rocketry Team.  We will launch 3 Level 1 certification rockets on Saturday.  We will build Level 2 certification rockets this semester.

Harvard SEDS is attending the MIT 150 Exploration Conference this week.


Illinois Space Society (UIUC SEDS) Chapter Update 4/2/2011

April 2, 2011 in Chapter Updates by SEDS UIUC

This year Illinois Space Society (ISS) is competing in the NASA University Student Launch Initiative. Our rocket, the Chambana Banana, had its test flight on March 16. The competition launch will take place on April 16, 2011.

ISS is planning a huge Yuri’s Night celebration and expects to have a large turnout for the event. More information can be found here.

A group of ISS members departed March 25 to attend the Goddard Memorial Symposium in Washington, DC.

ISS will be holding elections at our April General Meeting.

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UB-SEDS Chapter Update 3/30/11

March 30, 2011 in Chapter Updates by SEDS UB

The efforts of UB-SEDS in the past month have mostly been taken up preparing for our Yuri’s Night Celebration, which will be held in the City of Buffalo at Pearl Street Grill and Brewery on Friday, April 8.  You can find more information here.  We have space for 300 people, so if you have friends or family in Buffalo, tell them to come!Our project groups have also been keeping busy this month:  Sunday, March 27, our astronomy project group braved the cold and held a solar observing event outside our Student Union, where we interacted with many community members, and had our photo taken by a photographer from the University at Buffalo Student Experience, which was featured on their Facebook page and the SEDS-USA Facebook page.

UB-SEDS is also working on a high-altitude weather balloon project, which we hope to launch by the end of April.  We are ordering parts, and finalizing electronics design.  We hope to integrate instruments to measure temperature, pressure, radiation and other environmental factors, at various altitudes.

Our rocketry project group is gearing up for two competitions, including the SEDS Competition.  Launches continue as normal.

We also found out a couple weeks ago that our proposal for the Air Force NANOSAT Program was accepted, so our Lead Engineer and Principal Investigator have been conducting interviews for the lead and volunteer positions.

Educational Outreach has been going to the Buffalo Museum of Science to host fun activities for kids, and to host the UB RASC-AL rover team, which is working on outreach for their NASA project.

In miscellaneous news, we will be holding elections for 2011-2012 officers next week.

SEDS 2011 High-Powered Rocketry Competition

March 5, 2011 in Chapter Updates, News by SEDS Publications

SEDS-USA is happy to announce the SEDS 2011 High-Powered Rocketry Competition. Competitors are tasked with designing, constructing, and launching a high-powered rocket carrying a 4 kilogram payload to a height of 10,000 feet, as measured by a standard altimeter. Regardless of their prior launch experience, careful considerations were taken into account to ensure that all SEDS chapters would have a fighting chance in this competition.

Chapters who decide to compete will be scored on not just whether they are able to achieve the standard height of 10,000 feet, but also on the weight of their rocket; the lighter, the better the score. Additional points will also be awarded if a video camera is used as the payload for the rocket.

Full competition rules and details can be found at:


The competition end date is October 9th, 2011. The winning chapter will be announced at SpaceVision 2011. If your chapter is interested in competing, please contact SEDS-USA Director of National Projects, David DeBoth, at projects@seds.org expressing your interest.

Best of luck!