Author Archives: Damian Allis

GENIUS Olympiad – Judges Needed – 19 June 2019

Editor’s Note: The following announcement is in from the TACNY email list. If you’re available, please consider spending the day being quite impressed (as I’ve been previously)!

You are invited to serve as a judge for the GENIUS Olympiad on Wednesday, June 19th, as we encourage young scientific minds from all over the world. Terra Science and Education even provides a FREE BUS for judges from Syracuse!

The GENIUS Olympiad is an international high school competition about environmental issues in the disciplines of Science, Robotics, Visual and Performing Arts, Creating Writing, and Business. We expect 700+ projects from 75 countries and 42 states (1400 participants)!

Everyone with a passion for environmental issues and a BS/BA degree in STEM, business, art, music, short film, or education may volunteer to judge for the appropriate field. Each judging session is three hours, during which you talk with assigned students and grade their performance based on judging criteria given to you. We would like to have you for both morning and afternoon sessions, if possible.

Judges are crucial, so not only do we provide lunch and refreshments during judging, and free parking or a free bus, but we also thank each judge with a $25 Amazon Gift card at the end of your day!

More information will be sent via email to those who register.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 19, 2019
     [FREE bus leaves Bird Library at SU at 8:00 AM]
Morning Session: 9:30-12 PM
     [LUNCH for those judging both sessions 12:00-1:00 PM]
Afternoon Session: 1-3.30 PM
     [FREE bus leaves Oswego at 3:45 PM, arrives at Bird by 4:45 PM]
     [Those with their own transportation may stay for the 5:00 PM Cultural Festival as well.]

            WHERE: SUNY Oswego Campus, Campus Center Arena, Oswego, NY 13126

If you would like to be a judge for the GENIUS Olympiad on June 19th, please register at one of these links:

  1. I will use the FREE bus:  Free bus LINK
  2. I have my own transportation:  Own transportation LINK

Please share this e-mail with your friends and colleagues. These marvelous young people deserve the richness of many judges!

Thank you,

Dr. Fehmi Damkaci
Director, GENIUS Olympiad

NASA Night Sky Notes: Watching The Late Spring Skies

Poster’s Note: One of the many under-appreciated aspects of NASA is the extent to which it publishes quality science content for children and Ph.D.’s alike. Your tax dollars help promote science! The following article was provided for reprinting by the Night Sky Network in May, 2019.

By David Prosper

Late spring brings warmer nights, making it more comfortable to observe a good showing of the Eta Aquarids meteor shower. Skywatchers can also look for the delicate Coma Star Cluster, and spot the Moon on the anniversary of Apollo 10’s “test run” prior to the Moon landing in 1969.

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower should make a good showing this year, peaking the morning of May 6. This meteor shower has an unusual “soft peak,” meaning that many meteors can be spotted several days before and after the 6th; many may find it convenient to schedule meteor watching for the weekend, a night or two before the peak. You may be able to spot a couple dozen meteors an hour from areas with clear dark skies. Meteors can appear in any part of the sky and you don’t need any special equipment to view them; just find an area away from lights, lie down on a comfy lawn chair or blanket, relax, and patiently look up. These brief bright streaks are caused by Earth moving through the stream of fine dust particles left by the passage of Comet Halley. While we have to wait another 43 years for the famous comet grace our skies once more, we are treated to this beautiful cosmic postcard every year.

While you’re up meteor watching, try to find a delightful naked eye star cluster: the Coma Star Cluster (aka Melotte 111) in the small constellation of Coma Berenices. It can be spotted after sunset in the east and for almost the entire night during the month of May. Look for it inside the area of the sky roughly framed between the constellations of Leo, Boötes, and Ursa Major. The cluster’s sparkly members are also known as “Berenice’s Hair” in honor of Egyptian Queen Berenices II’s sacrifice of her lovely tresses.  Binoculars will bring out even more stars in this large young cluster.

May marks the 50th anniversary of the Lunar Module’s test run by the Apollo 10 mission! On May 22, 1969, NASA astronauts Thomas Safford and Eugene Cernan piloted the Lunar Module – nicknamed “Snoopy” – on a test descent towards the lunar surface. Undocking from “Charlie Brown” – the Command Module, piloted by John Young – they descended to 47,400 feet above the surface of the Moon before returning safely to the orbiting Command Module. Their success paved the way for the first humans to land on the Moon later that year with Apollo 11. Look for the Moon on the morning of May 22, before or after dawn, and contemplate what it must have felt like to hover mere miles above the lunar surface. You’ll also see the bright giant planets Saturn and Jupiter on either side of the Moon before sunrise. When will humans travel to those distant worlds?

You can catch up on all of NASA’s current and future missions at nasa.gov

A view of Apollo 10’s Lunar Module from the Command Module as it returned from maneuvers above the lunar surface. Photo Credit: NASA; Source: http://bit.ly/apollo10view
Try to spot the Coma Star Cluster!  Image created with assistance from Stellarium

The Night Sky Network program supports astronomy clubs across the USA dedicated to astronomy outreach. Visit nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov to find local clubs, events, and more!

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique: “Drone Days Of May – Technology And Trends Of Unmanned Aircraft”

Saturday – May 18, 2019, 9:30-11:00am

Milton J Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology – Syracuse, NY

Please RSVP to jrcafe@tacny.org

Speaker: Kip White, Sales Manager, United Radio, Communications Division

Talk Overview: Kip will fly us through the basics of sUAS including a little history, flight systems, different drone airframe designs, physics of flight and a brief look into the future. We will also have a discussion on uses of small, unmanned aircraft systems as a possible career path. We will set up an area outside for live flying demonstrations.

Biography: Kip spent most of his career in the electronic security industry as a technician, technical manager, sales person, sales manager and general manager. Upon leaving the security industry, he took on the role as a project manager of a multimillion-dollar commercial construction project. He joined United Radio early in 2017 to work with their Communications Division. With an interest in aviation and the knowledge that first responders are a major customer of United Radio, Kip took on the mission of educating Police and Firefighters on the uses and benefits that sUAS drones can bring to their departments.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique, a program for middle-school students founded in 2005, features discussions about topics in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an informal atmosphere and seeks to encourage students to consider careers in these areas. Students must be accompanied by an adult and can explore the MOST at no cost after the event.

Technology Alliance of Central New York

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

For more information about TACNY, visit www.tacny.org.