Broadcast 1622 (Special Edition)

18 Sep 2011 Nancy Conrad
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Guest: Nancy Conrad. Topics: The Conrad Foundation & Conrad Awards, STEM education for high school students, space & education. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed Nancy Conrad back to the program to update us on new activities with The Conrad Foundation, The Conrad Awards & The Spirit of Innovation Awards for STEM educational outreach among U.S. high school students. Please visit www.conradfoundation.org and www.conradawards.org for more information. In our first segment, Ms. Conrad provided us with an overview of the Foundation and the awards, the goals, projects, recipients, and the new website which will launch within a few days. We talked about the sponsorship by leading corporations both in the space arena as well as in other industries. Ms. Conrad also mentioned her recent testimony before Congress on STEM education & space policy. She described the teams, the portal, the competition, and some of the recent successful student projects. Nancy stressed educational collaboration and said that the next award winners will also be going to the UN sponsored conference, Rio + 20. Ms. Conrad referenced her late husband, former astronaut Pete Conrad, his educational problems as a student, and how important it was to change the educational system, citing Pete and others as an example. In the second segment, our guest stressed that the competition was open to all students with the model based on what worked with the Moon shot. She said about 1/3 were girls, there was no cost for entering, the process has been simplified and streamlined, and that there are no academic pre-requisites. The semi-finals are to be held in March 2012 at NASA Ames with five teams from each category which our guest discussed during all segments of today's program. I asked our guest if the space policy confusion has impacted the student interest in space. Don't miss what Ms. Conrad had to say about this. As the segment ended, Ms. Conrad stressed being inclusive and that a future goal is to expand the awards to students in other countries. In our final segment, a listener asked for ideas on working with the class when the teacher says there is no time for outside support or activities. Don't miss her suggestion. As we neared the end of the discussion, we talked about The Conrad Foundation five year milestones & goals, educational globalization, and student teams. If you have comments or questions, post them on the blog URL above.

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