The INSPIRE Project has secured a once-in-a-lifetime STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) opportunity for 12 motivated and deserving Washington DC area high school students to participate in hands-on field research with NASA scientists at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. The students will conduct research before, during and after the Total Solar Eclipse August 19th - 21st, an event that has not occurred in the United States in 38 years. Each of these 12 INSPIRE Space Academy alumni students are excelling in STEM disciplines both in the classroom and in extensive extracurricular activities/competitions since attending Space Academy as middle school students, a requirement of this program. This extraordinary opportunity will provide a solid foundation to propel each student's future STEM career path and help to create our next generation of scientists and explorers.
The 12 Space Academy alumni students will travel to to Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee to join a NASA team from Marshall Space Flight Center for the Total Solar Eclipse. Students will conduct research with NASA scientists for 3 days. INSPIRE’s VLF (Very Low Frequency) radio receiver will be incorporated in NASA's research. Below is a summary of planned NASA research activities (NASA-TV will be streaming live on-site):
- Assist the UAH Space Hardware Club and UAH atmospheric scientists with balloon launches to learn more about how the atmosphere responds to solar heating and how/when clouds form
- Assist with the Mobile Integrated Profiling System, which will take various types of data before, during, and after the eclipse
- Assist with the Citizen CATE project, which seeks to learn more about the inner corona of the Sun by using identical equipment located at multiple stations along the path of totality to acquire 90 minutes of data
- Make observations of animals (crickets and cows) to document effects of near-total darkness in the middle of the day
- Use ionosondes to document and study ionospheric responses to rapidly changing heating conditions
- Use ham radio frequencies and data mine the Reverse Beacon Network to study ionospheric changes during an eclipse
- Use the INSPIRE VLF receiver to examine naturally occurring Very Low Frequency waves
INSPIRE Project is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit co-founded by
NASA scientist William Taylor in 1989. One of INSPIRE’s most empowering
scholarship programs is Space Academy for Students (launched in 2010) offered each summer for
middle/high school students. It is an action-packed week of astronaut
training at the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The
program attracts students to STEM disciplines, promotes teamwork and
life-long learning skills, and builds self-confidence. For many of the
students, it is the first time that they have been exposed to anything
outside of their inner-city neighborhoods. The program truly changes
lives and opens STEM career pathways. INSPIRE’s first Space Camp
scholarship recipient graduated in May 2016 in Computer Science at Howard
University. INSPIRE has awarded 56 student scholarships to date. Learn more>
corporate sponsorship opportunities or additional information on the INSPIRE Space Academy programs, please
contact: Eva Kloostra, Program Manager at 727-641-3468 or email [email protected]
Special thanks to the sponsors, donors and volunteers for making this program possible!
Charis – Lanham, MD
The experience really changes a person and allows you to see how and what resources you need to make your career dream come true – whether you want to be a scientist, engineer, etc. My goal is to one day become an aerospace engineer!
Clark – Washington, DC
We learned to work better with one another and what it means to be part of a team. It makes you understand that you must rely on your teammates because it could be a matter of life or death. And there is no “I” in TEAM.
Destiny – Washington, DC (left) and
Isadora - Silver Spring, MD (right)
You learn there is more to the world than just where you live. Before Space Camp, I had very low confidence. Now I know I can do great things with life just like everyone else.
Colby – Washington, DC
After returning from Space Academy, I started my freshman year in Technology High School. In the fall, my team and I entered the "Battle of Baltimore" robotics competition and our team won 1st Place.