Broadcast 1230 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

27 Sep 2009 Daniel Asturias, Joshua Neubert, Aaron Rusheen
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Guests: Josh Neubert, Aaron Rusheen, Daniel Asturias. Topics: Spirit of Innovation Awards Program, Conrad Foundation, how to get an outstanding high school education. Today's Space Show program featured The Conrad Foundation and their Spirit of Innovation Awards ( http://www.conradawards.org ) for this year. Two first place winners were our guests, Aaron Rusheen who created the Final Frontier Apparel Company and Daniel Asturias who created the MotGen System. Also with us was the Conrad Foundation Executive Director, Josh Neubert. In the first segment, Josh introduced us to the Conrad Foundation and the Spirit of Innovation Awards, then provided us with a brief introduction to our student guests. Listen to what Josh had to say about this fantastic awards program because it clearly works and after you hear the two students, you will know why I say that. One listener asked if the Conrad Foundation was working with NASA in these awards and as you will hear, they have signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA and the organizations do work together. We also learned that 170 student teams competed for the awards! By visiting the above website and clicking on the Competition button at the top, you can see the student projects discussed on the show and learn about the different categories for the awards. Later in this segment, Aaron Rusheen began telling us about his mechanical counter-pressure space suit and the company formed for this project, Final Frontier Apparel. Listen to what Aaron had to say about the suit, his team, and the competition, as well as the engineering and design aspects of the counter-pressure suit. In the second segment which lasted until the end of the show, listeners asked Aaron some questions about his space suit design as well as the electro-muscular stimulation built into the suit to help prevent muscle degeneration. Aaron suggested that the value in this type of stimulation would be in saving money by not having to take heavy exercise equipment to orbit, plus it would save hours of time for the astronauts as they would not need to work out as much. During this segment, we had a surprise listener phone call from Nancy Conrad along with Rusty Schweickart. Do not miss our conversation with Nancy and Rusty about education, awards, rewards, and much, much more! We began our discussion with Daniel Asturias in this segment regarding his first place win in the renewable energy category with his team's MotGen system, a motionless hydrothermal vent generator. Daniel does an excellent job in describing this device to us, how it would be placed about 2 km under the ocean and how it would work virtually maintenance free since it’s made of very few parts. Daniel received some technical questions, including one about the precipitation of dissolved minerals. I believe you will be as impressed by the answer and knowledge of this student as was everyone else which is why his team won first place in this award category. Our discussion with Rusty, Nancy, and our two students led to a discussion of what makes these students special and how they were received by their peers. I believe this is an important discussion and listening to the perspective officered on STEM education issues for high school students from both Daniel and Aaron. I recommend you listen to this discussion. Notice how both students from different states, one from a public high school and one from a private high school focused in on the parental and family environment for pushing and leading students. Toward the end of the show, Josh talked about the next iteration of the Spirit of Innovation Awards and pointed out two key approaching dates for student entries. If you are interested, or if you know students who might be interested, direct them to the Conrad Awards website. If you have questions or comments for Josh Neubert about the Conrad Foundation, you can contact him through the website at www.conradawards.org/index.php?option=com_contact&view=contact&id=4&Item.... Make sure you let them know your note is for Josh and reference The Space Show.

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