Monday, December 20, 2010

Why Me? - Lisa with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Lisa has been an important friend to me and the SDO mission! Even before we met in person, Lisa had supported our outreach ideas and given me good feedback. Then she invited me to come to the Education Alley, which is the ultimate field trip for students! They got to meet scientists, engineers, researchers and astronauts as they shared their passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). 

It was at that annual event in Southern California where Lisa introduced me to many wonderful people and helped me increase my circle of friends. Lisa has continued to be a true friend. Her passion for STEM has inspired me to do more outreach events and we are thinking about joining Education Alley in 2011 with a SDO Team and help Lisa and her team with education, inspiration and motivation! 

When you are not enjoying Social Media, what do you do as a profession?
I am the STEM K-12 Program Manager for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). I work with teachers and students, helping them learn that not all math and science is irrelevant, but that the applications of math and science can lead you to places that you never could have imagined.

What has made space exploration such an interesting subject for you?
When I was little, I remember the thrill of watching a launch( yep, it was on TV live because it was such an event) and thinking how exciting it was. When we went to the moon, I was amazed that pictures could come from so far away. All my life, astronauts were my heroes because they dared to do the things that no one had ever attempted before- and they were not afraid to fail.

In your opinion what are the 3 most amazing achievements/results of space exploration?
Neal Armstrong’s one small step for mankind, the amazing Spirit and Opportunity rovers that never say never and keep providing us with windows to other worlds, the Hubble telescope for providing the most beautiful pictures of worlds beyond imagination. The rovers and Hubble are amazing because they prove every day that something or someone never outlives their usefulness, even when they have far exceeded the mission that they were sent to perform. It is a good life lesson.

Is there a current mission (or missions) you follow regularly? If so, what mission(s)?
Well, I must admit that I only knew about the Sun from school days. I have gotten caught up in the magic of following the SDO mission through my new friends and have actually learned a new appreciation of the mission and found that the education that I’m getting is FUN! I also will say that any shuttle launch and its mission are exciting to me- that little girl with her nose pressed against the TV screen has never really grown up. I still think that it is amazing that people live and work above my head every day doing vital things that are so important- like growing crystals for new medicines, doing research on plant growth that can solve problems here on planet earth.

Why are you friends of this Not-Every-Day-Run-Of-The-Mill rubber chicken?
First of all,  Camilla, anyone who says that you are ordinary will have to answer to me. The whimsy that you have created about space exploration and igniting interest  of every day people gives me lots of hope. Right now, you are giving the perfect “chicken eye” view of all kinds of places within NASA that regular folks never have access to. You relate to kids....and after all, they are our future. Who could not smile when looking at pictures of Camilla on her next adventure? In all seriousness, I have witnessed first-hand the impression that a rubber chicken can make on a child or an adult......and dare them to ask questions and to find answers for themselves in the space program.

What is your advice to today's youth?
Dream big...the future is bright. The job that you will be doing tomorrow has not been created yet....and you can be the master of your own destiny. Ask questions, be curious, take things apart...and put them back together in a way no one has imagined.

Facebook Name: Lisa Warner Bacon
Twitter Name: n/a
Blog: n/a

Enjoy a short video about the 2010 Education Alley

At the Education Alley Astro Clay sent this picture for me! 

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