The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (NASM) have finished updating the SSEP National Conference webpage, which now includes a complete schedule for the conference, a list of all featured presentations, a list of all student team presentations, conference expectations, and important information for attendees. We would like to invite everyone reading this post to read the new National Conference page—even if you are not attending the conference. The page provides an understanding of why this conference is important as part of a STEM education program that is dedicated to full immersion of students in real science. For the STS-135 communities, it provides a preview of things to come next year. For partner organizations, it provides yet another example of the depth of our commitment to the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) and its mission to help inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
A word about the Family Science Night that was planned in conjunction with the conference—
Given the extended summer hours for the Museum, the evening program would need to run 8:00 to 10:15 pm. After much discussion, we concluded that it would be very difficult to get the minimum required sign-up (400 attendees) from families attending the SSEP conference, and families of staff from NASA HQ and from across the Smithsonian. A family program running until 10:15 pm, on a work night was likely not going to succeed.
We have therefore canceled the Family Evening component. That said, we recognize that this will cause disappointment for some families attending the SSEP conference. In particular, the Family Evening was to be held after hours, when attendees could have the most visited Museum on Earth to themselves. NASM and NCESSE therefore worked through the morning today to modify program logisitics and the conference schedule, so that SSEP conference attendees can explore the first floor east side of the Museum (the 1/4 of the Museum open during Family Nights) from 9:20-10:00 am on July 6, before the Museum opens to the public. You will indeed have the Museum to yourselves, and for twice the time allocated for Museum exploration during a Family Evening. In addition, NASM’s Education Division has also opened the How Things Fly interactive gallery at this time, and will have Explainers and educators conducting programs at Discovery Stations. All this information is on the conference page.
Everyone have a safe and uneventful flight to the Nation’s Capital, and a very happy 4th of July.
Jump to: STS-134 National Conference in Washington, DC page