Archive for June, 2011

If a Mosquito Can Make a Difference, So Can We

There is a saying that goes: if you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito. When it comes to the subject of climate change, it seems unbelievable that we can each make a positive difference on the Earth, but it’s true. This week Dr. Amy Clement came to speak to students in the Digital WAVE program at the Museum. Dr. Clement is a professor of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. She studies the behavior of the Earth’s climate system, and Digital WAVE students are working in virtual worlds designing 3D objects related to climate change, so it was a great fit. Dr. Clement talked with students about things humans can do to help, like conservation, renewable energy, carbon capture, land use planning, and ecosystem management. The image below shows what Florida coastlines would look like with a 1 meter (about 3 feet) sea level rise – all of the red areas would be underwater! It’s clear we need to do what we can to slow or reverse the effects of climate change. We may be tiny compared to the Earth, but so are mosquitoes compared to us.

June 24th, 2011  in Career Connection No Comments »

A Virtual Visit with Leland D. Melvin

On May 21, 2011, almost 100 people participated in a mixed-reality, virtual visit with Astronaut Leland Melvin: about half in the Space Gallery at the Miami Science Museum and half via Second Life. We captured over an hour of Mr. Melvin’s fascinating and inspiring talk, but you can view highlights here:

June 6th, 2011  in Events, Featured No Comments »

Thank you Astronaut Leland Melvin!

We just had an amazing, inspiring talk with Astronaut Leland Melvin in Second Life. Almost 100 students from the Museum’s youth development programs participated. Here are a few shots from in-world… Video clips are coming soon.

Teen avatars float above virtual Earth with Astronaut Melvin.

We truly appreciate the time and dedication that Astronaut Melvin put into this event and look forward to hearing from him again in the future.

Take-away message: “You CAN do it!”

June 6th, 2011  in Events No Comments »

Avatar Meets Superman

Astronaut Leland Melvin's avatar prepares to meet with students in Second Life.

Astronaut Leland Melvin's avatar prepares to meet with students in Second Life.

Leland D. Melvin, NASA Associate Administrator for Education, will meet and talk with museum-mentored high school students in a computer-generated, 3-D environment created by students on the Miami Science Museum’s virtual world island in Second Life. Using avatars that they have created, youth will interact with Mr. Melvin’s avatar, who will talk about his passion for science, lend insight into his career path, and answer students’ questions.

Young people interacting with such a powerful role model through this computer- simulated world is a revolutionary new way of making the presentation more engaging, deepening their science knowledge and making the students more comfortable asking questions of the speaker. The presentation will be broadcast to students in the virtual world and projected in the Science Museum’s Theater so that the public can observe the virtual event and also participate through an avatar.

Leland D. Melvin joined NASA in 1989 as an aerospace engineer at the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA. He joined the astronaut corps in 1998 and has served as a mission specialist on two space shuttle missions. In 2003, Melvin co-managed the former Educator Astronaut Program, which recruited teachers to become fully trained astronauts in an effort to connect space exploration with students across the country.

Mr. Melvin was named the associate administrator for education at NASA Headquarters in October 2010. He is responsible for the development and implementation of NASA’s education programs. As a passionate advocate of science education, he has been developing strategies to improve NASA’s education offerings and to assist in establishing goals, processes and evaluation techniques to implement a sustainable and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program. He is a two-time space shuttle astronaut and flew on missions STS-122 and STS-129 in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Prior to joining NASA, Mr. Melvin played in the National Football League for the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys.

Date: May 21, 2011

Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EDT

Location: Miami Science Museum and SL: NASA Region

June 6th, 2011  in Events, Featured No Comments »