SS Weekly Highlight

Title: The NASA Ames NAI Team participates in the Chickasaw Nation Aeronautics and Space Academy (CNASA) —  Short Story: Drs. Gustavo Cruz-Diaz and Christopher Materese of the NAI Ames CAN 7 Team participated in the Chickasaw Nation Aviation and Space Academy (CNASA) held in Ada, Oklahoma. The Chickasaw Nation have been conducts this week-long camp in order to encourage their Native American youth to consider careers in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields.

During their full Astrobiology day spent at the camp on June 5th, 2018, Drs. Materese and Cruz-Diaz talked to 22 students (8th to 12th grade) about research at NASA and STEM career opportunities. Their presentation included hands-on science demonstrations, teaching them about molecular properties, chromatography, spectroscopy, refractive properties of light, and electromagnetism. The students were very interested in the presentation, in particular those related to the search for life on other Solar System objects and on exoplanets, and all of the students participated actively in the hands-on demonstrations. Some of the hands-on demonstrations, such as the flame test and building an electric motor, were among the most popular.

Mr. Luke Kerr, program manager for CNASA, had this to say regarding their partnership with NASA Ames’ NAI CAN 7 team “Oklahoma isn’t, especially the rural parts that we work with, generally considered to be a hub for STEM.  However, we’re doing our small part to change that!  Without which most of the students in our program wouldn’t have access to this type of exposure.  That’s a huge reason why partnerships like those with NASA Ames Research Center are priceless.  It may seem trivial to some, but I can assure you that when our students hear that scientists from NASA are making a special trip, for them, their eyes light up.” (circa October 2017)

NASA Ames participation in the camp is made possible through the NASA Astrobiology Institute under Cooperative Agreement Notice NNH13ZDA017C issued through the Science Mission Directorate.

POC:  Andrew Mattioda x41075, Gustavo Cruz-Diaz x47506, Christopher Materese x40254

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