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The Wilderness Downtown

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Break Time

Life churns with unexpected turns. Since I last wrote I accepted a new position with a different agency. I require a break as I make the move. I will be back after the first of the year. Meanwhile…

Enjoy the holidays and wishing you much happiness in the New Year!

Take care, Jan

Paper-look star

Star of wonder

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While researching a paper on cause marketing, the article Companies and Causes: Social Media Jumpstart a Marketing Revolution by Arianna Huffington led me to Started in 2000, Donors Choose allows people to donate money to help a school. Donors choose what school and what they would like to contribute and what project. Donations support paintbrushes to science kits and often provide funds for field trips. This is a good news story of innovation by Charles Best, a social studies teacher in the Bronx who saw the good in people.

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On I shared about my new find of I wanted to give credit to the site that led me to this new find, but that was yesterday and all is lost.

Moving along, pulls videos from an impressive array of partners that include universities, think tanks, industries, and other organizations from around the world. The following link to a video by Jennifer Heldmann was pulled from Ask a Scientist.

The Moon

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Museums Across America Part 4: Dr. Robert Peterkin

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Museums Across America Part 3: Dr. David Hardy

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Museums Across America Part 2

If you would like background information on this historic event, please refer to an earlier post written last February, An Economic Imperative.

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Museums Across America begins

By Ms. Jeanne Dailey

Signing of agreement for collaboration on STEM education

Explora, Evergreen and AFRL Directed Energy Directorate begin partnership in STEM education

It was a historic day on 4 August 2011 when the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate director, Dr. David Hardy, signed education partnership agreements with two strong and thriving museums. In an event held at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. the directorate kicked off its Directed Energy through STEM Education program. Directed Energy is partnering with the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Ore, near Portland, and Explora! in Albuquerque, N.M. Mr. Timothy Wahlberg, President of the Board of Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, and Dr. Patrick Lopez, Executive Director of Explora, signed the agreements alongside Dr. Hardy.

The program’s goal is to preserve directed energy research technology artifacts before the stories disappear and the hardware is destroyed, while at the same time spurring interest among the nation’s youth in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The directorate will loan artifacts to the museums to be turned into interactive displays or used for learning curriculum.

Evergreen Museum collects, preserves, and interprets the history of aviation culture and space exploration through its artifact collections, educational programs and historical exhibits. It is well-known for housing the huge wooden airplane, the Spruce Goose. Explora! is a science center located in Albuquerque’s Old Town. It is an innovative experiential learning center with exhibits and educational programs designed to support New Mexico’s students in the fields of science, technology and art.

New Mexico U.S. Senator, the Honorable Jeff Bingaman, stated in a letter read at the event, “I commend the AFRL Directed Energy Directorate for their efforts to inspire students across the nation to become interested in STEM education and directed energy in particular. I would also like to thank the Explora Science Museum and the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum for partnering with the AFRL to bring cutting edge directed energy technology out of the labs and into our classrooms.” New Mexico Senator Tom Udall also congratulated this group collaboration in STEM education.

Ms. Cynthia Kaiser

Chief Engineer, Ms. Cynthia Kaiser addressed the crowd gathered for the signing

“To our knowledge this is the first program of its kind,” said Directed Energy’s chief engineer and outreach lead, Ms. Cynthia Kaiser. “Increasing consumer awareness of directed energy technology capabilities and encouraging youth in scientific and engineering studies are paramount to our outreach. Our long-range goal is to take this program to museums across America.”

Note: Directed energy is a beam of concentrated electromagnetic energy that travels at the speed of light. The Directed Energy Directorate conducts research using DE technology for defensive measures that are precise, provide low collateral damage, and offer non-lethal solutions in hostile situations.

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SMART scholarships due December 1st

I encourage graduate and undergraduate students pursuing degrees in STEM disciplines to apply for SMART scholarships from the Department of Defense. SMART stands for “Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation.” The goal is “to increase the number of civilian scientists and engineers working at DoD laboratories.” This is exactly what we wish to accomplish here.

In addition to tuition and fees, this program provides “books, internship opportunities, a living stipend, and meaningful employment upon graduation,” according to an August 2nd press release from the Air Force Personnel, Services and Manpower Public Affairs Office out of Randolph Air Force Base in Texas. The press release further states that 19 of the 24 Air Force SMART scholars are still employed with the Air Force.

You will find complete information on the Smart Scholarship website. It is administered by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS).

Applications for 2012 school year are due by 5pm eastern standard time on December 1, 2011. Award notifications are expected to go out in March of 2012. The SMART scholarship is considered a “degree for service” scholarship. In exchange for the Department of Defense paying your tuition and fees, you agree to full-time employment after you graduate. Length of service is dependent on the time spent in school on the government’s scholarship.

Smart Scholarships target people who want to conduct theoretical and applied research in the following areas:

  • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
  • Biosciences
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Cognitive, Neural, and Behavioral Sciences
  • Computer and Computational Sciences
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Geosciences
  • Industrial and Systems Engineering (technical tracks only)
  • Information Sciences
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Oceanography
  • Operations Research (technical tracks only)
  • Physics

SMART Scholars is part of the National Defense Education Program.

You can follow U.S. Air Force Life and Careers on Facebook and Twitter.

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Science Careers laid out in order of "purity" with Mathematicians being the most pure on this scale.

Webcomic from

A new way of looking at your career in STEM. Enjoy. Jan

PS I wish to thank my instructor, Phillip Simon, for referring this site to us as a humorous example of “User Interface Engineering.”

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