More than 175 middle school students, invited from six area schools, descended on the LSU campus to compete in space-themed competitions and discover space-related college and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.
“LSU Space Day provided a platform to expand students’ curiosity and creativity about the many career paths before them,” said Rick Koubek, dean, LSU College of Engineering. “We look forward to these students one day becoming future LSU Engineers and the leaders of tomorrow.”
Hosted by the LSU College of Engineering, LSU College of Science, Lockheed Martin, NCAM, Jacobs Technology and NASA, LSU Space Day 2014 was designed to increase student interest in STEM fields at a younger age and showcase opportunities to design, build and test for NASA’s next space exploration.
“LSU Space Day is a fun way to ignite students’ interest in STEM disciplines and expose them to the programs at LSU in these areas,” said Guillermo Ferreyra, interim dean, LSU College of Science. “Science drives innovation and economic growth. To increase the number and quality of students enrolling in and completing STEM programs at LSU we engage them earlier than high school with activities such as those offered at LSU Space Day.”
Interactive teams constructed and launched rockets using generated pressure and energy; built and demonstrated thrust source in aircraft engines; and competed in payload differential launches.
Additional space exploration exhibits included: a 1/25 model of NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, a 30-foot-tall Space Launch System inflatable model, LSU’s high altitude payload balloon research, and a special space flight mission directive from Keith Comeaux, flight director of the Curiosity flight landing on Mars and LSU College of Engineering alumnus.
Schools participating in LSU Space Day 2014 included Episcopal; Glasgow Middle School; Iberville Math, Science, and Arts Academy; Parkview Baptist; St. Aloysius School; and Scotlandville Pre-Engineering Magnet Academy.
Each school presented a custom designed Orion mission patch, as astronaut crews do for their missions. The winning patch design will fly on the first Orion test flight in December, Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1).
LSU Day 2014 competition winners:
Air Engines – St. Aloysius School
Pop Rockets – Scotlandville Pre-Engineering Magnet Academy
Shuttle Payload – Glasgow Middle School
Test Flight Patch– Parkview Baptist
Overall Competition – Glasgow Middle School, first place; Parkview Baptist, second place; Scotlandville Pre-Engineering Magnet Academy, third place
“NASA has maintained a great tradition of building spaceflight hardware at the Michoud Assembly Facility and multiple generations of Louisiana citizens and LSU alumni have played key roles in the United States’ space flight endeavors,” said Patrick Scheuermann, director of Marshall Space Flight Center. “NASA continues to make rapid progress on both the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft. LSU students and alumni have a great opportunity to lend their talents in furthering NASA’s bold mission of exploring past the moon and deep into our Solar System.”
About LSU Space Day 2014
LSU Space Day 2014 highlights the College of Engineering and College of Science’s partnerships with NASA and other industry leaders, and the presence of space research in the state to encourage students to explore careers in STEM-related fields.
For more information about LSU’s College of Engineering visit www.eng.lsu.edu.
For more information about LSU’s College of Science visit www.science.lsu.edu.