IF Aerospace Event Highlights Out of this World Opportunity in Kentucky

IF Aerospace

Courtesy of Dataseam, written by Henry Hunt

Many times we talk about technology-based job opportunities for our students.  The Kentucky Aerospace Industry is real. It is growing. It is an international leader. Read about the annual IF Aerospace Conference in Morehead.  Session Videos are available as well.

Representatives from Kentucky’s largest manufacturing export industry, Aerospace, gathered for the third annual conference in Morehead, Ky. It is estimated the Kentucky Aerospace industry represents over $8.7 billion in exports each year.

Government officials, including Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton and House Majority Floor Leader, Rocky Adkins, talked about the importance of the industry to Kentucky not only in terms of dollars, but even more importantly because of Kentucky’s leadership position in certain segments of the industry.  Video Available.

IF Aerospace is a regional event of IdeaFestival, which now holds four statewide conferences. Kris Kimel, President of IdeaFestival said, “With all the small satellite and electronic tracking work going on at MSU, Morehead is a natural location for this event.”   During his talk, Kimel challenged the audience to work toward the next “Moonshot Idea”. He identified organizations such as Space Tango and the Exomedicine Institute as potential “game changers” in what they were trying to accomplish, and in what they can do for Kentucky.  Video Available.

President of Morehead State University, Dr. Wayne Andrews talked about Morehead State’s role in producing the skilled labor force that will drive these opportunities in eastern Kentucky. Rajant Corporation, a leader in advanced communication networks, is opening a Morehead office that plans to hire six recent MSU graduates from the Space Science program later this year.  Video Available.

Dr. Ben Malphrus, Director of the MSU Space Science Center outlined the Universities leadership role in the IceCube Mission which will send a small “suite case” size satellite to the moon in search of ice that may be used to produce drinking water and rocket fuel. Representatives from NASA were on hand to show how the MSU Mission will launch in 2018 from the maiden voyage of the most powerful rocket ever built, EM-1.  Video Available.

“Few people know how important Aerospace is to the Kentucky economy and it is growing,” according to director of the Kentucky Aerospace Council, Mike Young, “It is bigger than automotive, bourbon, horse racing or any other product that we export.” Conferences like this help industry, education and government align efforts to take advantage of this unique statewide opportunity to create companies, careers and opportunity in the state.

IF Aerospace is a non-profit industry conference sponsored by Morehead State University, Space Tango, Kentucky Innovation Network, MSU Space Science Center and Dataseam. View the complete set of Session Videos.

Mercy Academy 1st all-girls accredited STEM school

stem school

From WLKY.com: LOUISVILLE, Ky. —Mercy Academy is the nation’s first all-girls school to become an accredited STEM school.

Mercy is working to get more women into the male-dominated fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

The program has always been a part of the school, but now, a formalized STEM-focused curriculum teaches not only the basic courses, but expands to fields like architecture, bio-medical science, forensics and electronic design.

Click here to read the full story.

Georgia Pacific’s Education in Nature Program

Education in Nature website

From the Georgia Pacific Foundation website: We believe protecting the environment starts with everyday choices. Sustainability is part of what we do every day. It’s using resources efficiently to make products that improve people’s lives, working with outside organizations to develop the scientific expertise needed to sustain our natural resources and bringing stakeholders together to develop solutions to protect our world’s most ecologically important habitats.  We also have supported developing eco-savvy 4th and 5th graders, with our Education In Nature program including videos, lesson plans and downloads that facilitate fun environmental education. Environment focus areas include resource conservation, clean air, clean water, recycling and environmental education.

Check out the resources available to educators on the Education in Nature website.

Enter the 2016 EngineerGirl Essay Contest


It’s not too late to enter the 2016 EngineerGirl Essay Contest. Entries are due February 1st.

The Challenge: Responsible Engineering

Engineers often make challenging decisions that can sometimes affect thousands of people. To help them to make good decisions, many engineering organizations have created guidelines for professional behavior or “codes of ethics”.

Most engineering codes of ethics state that engineers must consider the safety, health, and general well-being of the people that are or may be affected by their work. Many of these codes also state that  engineers must also consider how their work can sustainably protect the environment.

This means that public safety, health, and well-being, and environmental sustainability are primary concerns for engineers.

To Enter the Contest

Imagine yourself as an engineer working on a promising new technology. You may want to consider some of the technologies currently being developed to address one of Engineering’s Grand Challenges.

Write an essay briefly describing the technology and what improvements you think it can provide in at least one of the four main areas of engineering responsibility:

  • Safety
  • Health
  • Well-being, and
  • Environmental sustainability

Discuss any challenges to safety, health, well-being, and sustainability that this technology might present, and describe what you, as an engineer, would do or consider to be sure that your responsibilities are fully addressed.

The contest is open to individual girls and boys in the following three competition categories :

  1. Elementary School Students (grades 3-5); Essays must be 400 to 700 words.
  2. Middle School Students in (grades 6-8); Essays must be 600 to 1100 words.
  3. High School Students (grades 9-12); Essays must be 1000 to 1500 words.

Click here to read the full rules and requirements and submit your entry.

Lexington doctor uses origami to teach kids about heart health

Makhila Moberly, left, and Cameron Owens write messages in their paper hearts as part of Dr. Sylvia Cerel-Suhl's Kids Art 4 Hearts proejct on Jan. 15. The lesson uses origami, a paper-folding art, to teach children about heart health. Credit: Tom Eblen | teblen@herald-leader.com
Makhila Moberly, left, and Cameron Owens write messages in their paper hearts as part of Dr. Sylvia Cerel-Suhl’s Kids Art 4 Hearts proejct on Jan. 15. The lesson uses origami, a paper-folding art, to teach children about heart health. Credit: Tom Eblen | teblen@herald-leader.com

From the Herald-Leader: A Lexington doctor stands before 50 restless second-graders who have been herded into Maxwell Elementary School’s cafeteria. Her mission is to keep their attention for an hour and teach them the importance of exercising, eating right and not smoking.

It would seem a daunting task, even for a veteran teacher. But Dr. Sylvia Cerel-Suhl has a secret weapon: squares of red and pink paper, which the children will fold into hearts.

Cerel-Suhl developed a lesson called Kids Art 4 Hearts, which she has volunteered to teach more than two dozen times at elementary and middle schools, churches and special events across Kentucky.

Click here to read the full story.

Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto

From AAAS Science: The solar system appears to have a new ninth planet. Today, two scientists announced evidence that a body nearly the size of Neptune—but as yet unseen—orbits the sun every 15,000 years. During the solar system’s infancy 4.5 billion years ago, they say, the giant planet was knocked out of the planet-forming region near the sun. Slowed down by gas, the planet settled into a distant elliptical orbit, where it still lurks today.

The claim is the strongest yet in the centuries-long search for a “Planet X” beyond Neptune. The quest has been plagued by far-fetched claims and even outright quackery. But the new evidence comes from a pair of respected planetary scientists, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, who prepared for the inevitable skepticism with detailed analyses of the orbits of other distant objects and months of computer simulations. “If you say, ‘We have evidence for Planet X,’ almost any astronomer will say, ‘This again? These guys are clearly crazy.’ I would, too,” Brown says. “Why is this different? This is different because this time we’re right.”

Click here to read the full article.

Deadlines approaching for in-state programs


Morehead State University: Take advantage of the Space Science Program at Morehead State University, or one of the Engineering, Pre-Med, or other programs. DataseamScholars at MSU offers five full tuition scholarships. Apply Today.

Governor’s School for the Arts: This summer program challenges students to develop their talent in one of nine art forms. This is an intense, life changing experience. Apply Today.

Kentucky Space Sci-Fi Project: In this statewide competition students can take their science knowledge, add a little imagination, and create a science fiction movie, artwork or writing piece. By applying their knowledge through the lens of imagination, students can see alternate possibilities. Information coming January 11 for students in grades 5-12.

Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs: Teams of high school students develop and launch a business at this hand-on summer camp. Get help from experts to create your business vision. Apply Today.

Google Made with Code Projects: Inside Out

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 9.31.31 AM

Haven’t heard of Made with Code? Here’s the description from Google of why coding is a big deal:

We started Made with Code because increasingly more aspects in our lives are powered by technology, yet women aren’t represented in the roles that make technology happen.

If we can inspire girls to see that code can help them pursue their passions, whatever they may be, then hopefully they will begin to contribute their voices to the field of technology for the benefit of us all.

Now coders have a chance to learn code using Pixar’s movie Inside Out!

Click here to “help Riley from Disney Pixar’s Inside Out solve some of life’s little problems with the help of her Emotions.”

‘If I Had a Hammer’ focuses on language of math

Photo by Tammy L. Lane
Photo by Tammy L. Lane

From KyForward: In the gym at Lansdowne Elementary, fifth-graders literally hammered out the details as they constructed an 8-foot-by-11-foot, one-room, wood-frame house in about two hours. The build, in which they tackled concepts such as area, perimeter and angles, showed the students how grownups use math in the real world.

They also recognized the importance of teamwork, communication and work ethic.

“In order to build a house, you need to have a plan. But you also need a plan for your life, and education is critical,” said Perry Wilson, founder of “If I Had a Hammer.”

Wilson, who is based near Nashville, shared how he struggled with mathematics as a child. When he became a carpenter, something clicked and for the first time, he got the math. Now he uses his trade to reach kids.

Click here to read the full story.