Monthly Archives: October 2012

International FameLab: Exploring Earth and Beyond

What is FameLab? It’s a scientific communication competition that gives participants a forum to convey their scientific research and an opportunity to hone their communication skills. It’s American Idol–for scientists!

At regional heats throughout the US over the next 18 months, early career scientists from numerous disciplines will compete in presenting their research or related science concepts. Each contestant has the spotlight for only three minutes. No slides, no charts, just the power of words and any prop you can hold in your hands. A panel of experts in both science and science communication will do the judging.

Winners from the FameLab Exploring Earth and Beyond (EEB) regional competitions will face off at National Geographic headquarters in DC in April 2014 for a grand prize and the chance to compete with peers from around the world at the FameLab International Final in the UK in June 2014.

Beyond the competition element, the heart of FameLab is the chance to improve communication skills. At each preliminary event there will be a workshop with training in the principles and practices of good communication.

The first competition will be at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in December 2012 and space is limited. For those who cannot attend regional heats in person, FameLab EEB is offering an online heat, allowing competitors to participate from home.

For more information, eligilibity requirements, and to register, visit the FameLab EEB website.

LPSC Special Session Suggestions

The 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference will be held March 18-22, 2013. More formal announcements and other details will be posted online soon. The organizers are currently soliciting the community for suggestions for special sessions to be held at the 2013 conference.

To submit ideas and suggestions for special sessions, please send an e-mail message to meetinginfo@hou.usra.edu NO LATER THAN Monday, October 29, 2012, so they can be reviewed, planned, and publicized. Please put “LPSC Special Session” in the subject line of your message.

All suggestions must be accompanied by a detailed but brief (100–150 words) description of the science that would be covered in the session, and whether it will consist of invited abstracts, contributed abstracts, or a combination of both. Organizers of these sessions should be prepared to serve on the LPSC Program Committee, or to have a fully empowered delegate serve on the committee, if requested by the conference chairs.

2012-2013 Cosmic Explorations Speakers Series

The Lunar and Planetary Institutes invites all inquisitive adults to attend Big Bang Theory: The Three Pillars, a presentation by Dr. Dragan Huterer on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 7:30 pm. Dr. Huterer is a theoretical cosmologist and an associate professor of Physics at the University of Michigan.

Over the past century, scientists have developed an excellent understanding of the history of the universe from a fraction of a second after the Big Bang when the universe was small, hot and nearly uniformly filled with matter, until the present time when it is filled with galaxies surrounded by empty space. Dr. Huterer will begin the 2012-2013 Cosmic Explorations Speaker Series with a discussion of the three principal findings that serve as the “pillars” of modern cosmology, as well as the mysterious dark matter.

The 2012-2013 speaker series is called “A User’s Guide to the Universe: You Live Here. Here’s What You Need to Know.” This series will focus on topics of current research in astronomy including the formation of the Universe, dark energy, galactic evolution, and black holes.

Moon Zoo

Want to learn more about the Moon, its geology, and our history exploring it? Moon Zoo is the place! Moon Zoo brings together content related to the Moon from all across the internet, allowing you to learn about what we know about the Moon. The site covers topics such as lunar geology, lunar exploration, ways to view the moon, and the moon in culture and history.

Smithsonian Institution’s National Science Resources Center

The National Science Resources Center (NSRC) was established in 1985 by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academies. Its mission is to improve the learning and teaching of science for all students in the United States and throughout the world. This site provides links to curriculum, student and parent, leadership, partnership, and professional development resources.

Earth Science Week

October 14 – 20 is Earth Science Week. Earth Science Week encourages people everywhere to explore the natural world and learn about the geosciences. “Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences,” this year’s theme, will engage young people and the public in learning how geoscientists gather and interpret data about the Earth and other planets.

Cassini Scientist for a Day Competition

The Cassini Scientist for a Day competition is now open. The competition is designed to give the participants a taste of life as a scientist. Students are invited to submit a 500-word essay explaining their choice of one of three targets to be imaged by the Cassini spacecraft in orbit around Saturn. School students from participating countries must choose one of three targets and write an essay to justify their choice to a panel of experts. Entries are welcome from students in any ESA Member State, ESA Cooperating State and Europlanet members that are currently participating in the competition, namely: Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. The closing date for the competition in these countries is 23:59 CET, 3 December 2012.

Sally Ride Science Festival at Rice University

Attend the Sally Ride Science Festival at Rice University, Houston, Texas, on Saturday, October 27, 2012. Sally Ride Science Festivals are designed to encourage 5th-8th grade girls in science.

The festival features:
An inspiring talk by astronaut Wendy Lawrence
Discovery Workshops for 5th-8th grade girls, given by local scientists and engineers–chemists, veterinarians, microbiologists, etc.
Workshops for parents and teachers on ways to support students’ interests in science and math
A Street Fair with booths, hands-on activities, food, and music

Check-in and lunch are from 11 am to 1 pm, and the featured talk and workshops are from 1 pm to 4:15 pm. The Street Fair is ongoing throughout the day. Advance registration is required, and the fee is $20 for the entire day.