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Summer Science Saturday a Success!


Newton's Cradle LPL atrium crowd
Making Comets with NOAO



On July 28, LPL hosted Summer Science Saturday, a day-long celebration of science in anticipation of the landing of the MSL Curiosity Rover. The event was a great success, with over 700 Tucsonans visiting LPL to learn about Mars, spectroscopy (PTYS graduate student Rob Zellem), and meteorites (LPL Meteorite Guru Dolores Hill). Mike Farmer displayed his martian meteorites. The UA Department of Entomology and Insect Science brought bugs! Dr. Denise Meeks (Pima Community College NW) helped young people make planispheres. Sanlyn Buxner and Rob Bovill (Planetary Science Institute) compared and contrasted the Earth and Mars. Tucson's Titan Missile Museum brought a Newton's cradle, which demonstrates Newton's laws of motion. Professor Cecile McKee (UA Dept. of Linguistics) and her volunteers made spectrograms of visitor names. OSIRIS-REx was represented by Oliver Beres and Ross Dubois; they were a hit with their Comet Ice Cream (whole milk, salt, and comet additives)! The Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona (GSSA) brought a renewable energy system that uses solar and micro hydro power, designed and built by the GSSA and the Tucson Solar Guild at Power Up camp---what a hit on a hot July day! Volunteers from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory spent the day making comets, using slinkys to demonstrate optical illusions, and helping the youngest guests make Play-Doh planets. One of the most popular stops was the Robotics activity (hosted by Caryl Jones and her volunteers from the Catalina Foothills Community Schools). David Acklam from the Kuiper Circle Outreach Committee told visitors all about LPL, and Kellee Hanson was there to represent the College of Sciences. There were lectures by Dr. Veronica Bray ("The dramatic formation of Gale crater: What happens when an asteroid hits a planet?"), Assistant Professor Shane Byrne ("Wet clay on ancient Mars"), and Professor Alfred McEwen ("HiRISE imaging of Mars Landing sites, landers, and rovers," presented by Shane Byrne). And Dr. Bruce Bayly and his Physics Factory crew were, as always, super fun, educational, and engaging.


We're already planning for next year!



Spectroscopy with Rob Zellem

All photos courtesy of James Keane.
Center For Insect Science Robotics!
Play-Doh Planets




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