White Hall Elementary School Mighty Builders Team Wins West Virginia’s First Spacecraft LEGO Challenge

This fall, White Hall Elementary School in White Hall, W.Va., sponsored a First Lego League Junior (FLL Jr.) team.  Eleven fourth-grade team members and two coaches met twice a week for several months to develop a LEGO model, poster and presentation to illustrate what they learned as part of this year’s CREATURE CRAZE Challenge.  As part of their meetings, the Mighty Builders participated in West Virginia’s First Spacecraft LEGO Challenge.

Suder Blog Entry_STF1 Lego Winners
Image Credit: Mark Suder

The challenge fit naturally into the learning the students were doing as part of the CREATURE CRAZE Challenge.

“The team and building rules were similar to what we were doing for FLL Jr., and the kids needed to begin learning about our WeDo LEGO set, how the motors and sensors work, and how to program it, so this challenge seemed like a natural fit for our meetings,” coach Mark Suder said.

With the guidance of their coaches, the kids split into several teams to create LEGO satellite models, then chose one to add motors, sensors and a brain to.  Following the addition of and learning about these parts, the kids brainstormed about the questions that were posed to them for West Virginia’s First Spacecraft LEGO Challenge.  Those questions were:

  1. What you want to have in West Virginia’s second spacecraft and why?
  2. What is different from your LEGO STF-1 and NASA’s LEGO STF-1 and why?
  3. How do CubeSats affect space exploration around the world?
Suder Blog Entry_STF1 Lego Winners 2
Image Credit: Mark Suder

“Creative, energetic, smart, enthusiastic!  Those are the words I would use to describe the students,” Suder said. “As the coach, I have been both proud and inspired to be part of this team.  These kids are the future of the country, and with all the negative news these days it is neat to see that there is also a lot of hope for the future based on these inspirational young people of today.  Besides, who doesn’t like playing with LEGOs?”

The team was incredibly excited to learn that they had won the First Spacecraft LEGO Challenge and was excited to tour NASA IV&V and receive their first place prize.

In addition to the tour, and to both congratulate and celebrate the accomplishments of this team, NASA’s IV&V Program invited the students, their teachers, as well as the school’s principal to attend IV&V’s Internal Award Event. The students were presented with certificates of appreciation, and in return, presented IV&V’s Director Greg Blaney, as well as the program, with a thank you card from the team.

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Image Credit: Clayton Peachey
20161213-Christmas Auction Party_00037 Award group Mighty Builders
Image Credit: Clayton Peachey

Mark Suder | Systems Analyst
NASA’s Independent Verification & Validation Program

The Pluto Mission: “High Fives” for a Resounding Success

When Clyde Tombaugh (1906–1997) discovered a tiny object on a pair of photographic plates, one has to wonder if he could have foreseen that it would take 62 more years to find another object in the distant solar system or that it would lead to a yet to be discovered region of space.  In 1930, rocketry was still in its infancy and deep space travel was the work of popular science fiction. Therefore, it would have been a far off dream for Tombaugh to think about visiting his discovery, which we now know as Pluto. However, on July 14, 2015, that is exactly what he will do, when the New Horizons spacecraft makes a Flyby of the Pluto-Charon system. New Horizons is carrying a sample of Tombaugh’s ashes donated to the mission by his wife, Patricia Tombaugh (1912–2012), to commemorate his discovery of Pluto.

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Clyde Tombaugh: Discoverer of Pluto February 4, 1906 to January 17, 1997.

For people that grew up in the educational system of the United States prior to 1992, Pluto was always the Ninth planet from the Sun and an anomaly when compared to the rest of the planets in our solar system. The Inner planets are characterized by being similar rocky bodies that are relatively close to the sun. Next there were the Outer planets, consisting of large gaseous planets with tumultuous atmospheres. Then there was Pluto; a small planet rotating around the sun in an elliptical orbit that was out of plane with the rest of the planets. The questions of why Pluto was different were not able to be answered until technology allowed for better views of deep space. In 1992, The first trans-Neptunian object since Pluto and Charon was discovered in 1992 and since then more than 1,500 objects have been identified. This region is characterized by small ice worlds that orbit the sun in vast number of Astronomical Units beyond Pluto and has been called the Kuiper Belt.

The idea to send a probe to visit the region started to form in the early-1990’s. And although there were many proposals for missions that would visit the small planet, it wasn’t until NASA established as part of the New Frontiers program that a stable stream of funding was made available to fund such a mission. It was in this climate that the New Horizons mission was born. Led by Alan Stern as Principle Investigator, New Horizons is a joint effort between the South West Research Institute and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). APL provides for the mission management of the spacecraft.

New Horizons was launched from Kennedy Space Center on January 19, 2006 aboard an Atlas V rocket with second and third stages to provide it the necessary velocity to be the first spacecraft launched directly into a solar escape trajectory. The primary goals of the mission are to map the surface composition and to characterize the global geology and atmosphere of Pluto. This data will help provide context for the formulation of the Pluto system and establish some understanding of its role in the formation of the early solar system. Its extended mission is to encounter one or more objects in the Kuiper Belt beyond Pluto and conduct similar data collection exercises.

In order to accomplish these goals, the spacecraft has a suite of seven science instruments.

  1. Alice is an ultraviolet spectrometer used for measuring gas composition
  2. Ralph combines an infrared spectrometer (LEISA) for mapping surface composition with a color optical imager (MVIC) for mapping surface structure and composition
  3. REX is a radio experiment for measuring atmospheric composition and temperature
  4. LORRI is an optical telescope that provides the highest resolution imaging of the surface
  5. PEPSSI is a plasma-sensing instrument for measuring particles escaping from Pluto’s atmosphere
  6. SWAP is a plasma-sensing instrument for measuring the properties of the solar wind at Pluto, Pluto’s atmospheric escape rate, and for searching for a magnetosphere around Pluto. The “solar wind” is a stream of charged particles streaming away from the Sun at high speed.
  7. SDC, an instrument used to measure dust impacts at the New Horizons spacecraft during its entire trajectory, was built by students at the University of Colorado!
New_Horizons_Instruments
New Horizons spacecraft instrument layout.

To get a sense of the size of the spacecraft, it is possible to see a scale model of it hanging in the Udvar-Hazy Center, which is the National Air & Space Museum Annex at Dulles International Airport. The spacecraft has been compared to the size of a baby grand piano.

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Model of New Horizons hanging in the Udvar-Hazy National Air & Space Annex.

Subsequent to the launch of New Horizons, the International Astronomical Union reclassified Pluto from planet to dwarf planet status. However, this does not diminish the historical nature of the mission. The science data collected will greatly enhance the science communities understanding of Pluto, be able to validate assumptions and speculations about its surface features and compositions, and hopefully inspire the next generation of deep space scientists.

My Recollections of New Horizons IV&V

The IV&V planning and scoping efforts for the New Horizons mission began in late 2002. The CARA process was used in establishing the scope of the analyses performed. It was determined that Command and Data Handling (C&DH), Guidance, Navigation & Control (GN&C) and the Ralph instrument were to receive full life-cycle IV&V. There were two instruments which were determined to be of sufficiently low risk and not significant contributors to the primary science goals and therefore were not provided any IV&V coverage.  Those were the REX and SDC instruments. The remainder of the instruments suite were addressed via IV&V requirements and test analysis activities. There was also some initial work performed on the Ground Software, but it was high reuse and it was determined that further work in that area would not be productive use of IV&V efforts.

One of the tasks performed during the New Horizons test campaign was an analysis of the Comprehensive Performance tests. This required additional IV&V analysis resources to be added to support the timely analysis of that large set of test artifacts. This type of analysis was needed due to the way that APL had structured their acceptance testing, for which IV&V had generated a risk. They had placed requirements verification into the system test world where it was exercised in a more day in the life kind of way.

Due to the tight constraints that were placed on the launch window, APL decided to slip functionality to a post-launch upload. They had one period that extended in January 2006 and allowed for the Jupiter Gravitational Assist and one that was in February 2006 that was a direct to Pluto launch and would have added four years to the time line (missing those two would have been a significant launch delay). They ended up making the window for the gravitational assist. Therefore, we performed C&DH and GN&C analysis post-launch, primarily this was code analysis and final test analysis. I believe there were two in-flight issues with the GN&C processor, which we supported. Ultimately, one was determined to be in the Detection and Correction Code (EDAC) hardware and the other was a problem with the autocoder.

Over the 9 year history of the mission, there were only two safe mode entries, that I am aware of. One occurred back in 2007 and was similar to the GN&C reset related to EDAC hardware. The other happened July 4th and appeared to come from trying to use the software differently than originally intended. The original operations philosophy was that they would start N number of weeks prior to the fly-by and start taking data. They would keep taking data until about the same N number of weeks past the fly-by (part of that was the occultation data collection and some radio experiment), then compress, then downlink. Downlink was to take on the order of nine months. Over the years, it seems they have revamped their operational plans based on the lessons learned from their Jupiter fly-by and from yearly encounter planning meetings. So when the safe mode entry happened, they were uploading a command sequence, while taking data and compressing data, so the sequencing got overwhelmed.

The bright heart shape area is possibly covered with a frost of frozen methane, nitrogen, and/or carbon monoxide
The bright heart shape area is possibly covered with a frost of frozen methane, nitrogen, and/or carbon monoxide

I find this mission fascinating. In the time that New Horizons has been cruising to Pluto, I was married, my son was born, I watched him learn to crawl, learn to talk, learn to walk, lost my wife, and have seen my son complete nearly a quarter of his schooling.  I hope this event inspires kids of his age to aspire to be the next generation of discovery leaders.

Van Casdorph
Systems Engineer
NASA’s Independent Verification & Validation Program

Intern Q&A: Georgette Ball and Samuel Talkington

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Name: Georgette Ball
Home Town: Fairmont, W.Va.
High School Attended: Fairmont Senior High School
College: West Virginia University
Major: Industrial and Management Systems Engineering
Why you applied for a NASA internship? I applied for a NASA internship because I have always been intrigued by government services and wanted to have this opportunity to broaden my knowledge. My goal is to pursue a government related engineering job and I believe NASA would be a great opportunity to gain experience and come closer to attaining that goal.
What are you doing for NASA (brief summary of intern project)? I am working with the WV Space Public Outreach Team (SPOT) as a presentation developer. Programs such as SPOT are great organizations that reach out to younger generations and ignite interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines.
What do you like most about working for NASA? If I had to choose what I like most so far it would definitely be the people and culture here at NASA IV&V. I feel very welcomed here and everyone is so helpful.

IMG_1731Name: Samuel Takington
Home Town: Clarksburg, W.Va.
High School Attended: Notre Dame High School
Why you applied for a NASA internship? Applying for a NASA internship gave me the opportunity to practice my skills with science and computer programming, which continue to grow daily. I applied expecting a great opportunity to interact with individuals who you genuinely feel are contributing to the betterment of humanity’s scientific endeavors. It’s an excellent college reference, and it’s simply an awesome experience that I will remember for years to come.
What are you doing for NASA (brief summary of intern project)?  This Summer I am working with the Space Launch System rocket engines team. The SLS is the “next generation” of rocketry that will, when completed, be responsible for the next manned space missions based out of America. I am helping to ensure that the algorithms behind the engine itself are sound and correct by creating applications in Java to automatically validate the math. It’s thrilling to be part of such a large picture, and to be tangibly contributing to the safety of America’s next astronauts.
What do you like most about working for NASA? The atmosphere is fairly relaxed and suited to my personality. It’s nice to be surrounded by like-minded people who share a passion for science and other similar interests.

 

 

 

Intern Q&A: Katherine Reid and Joshua Hiett

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Name:
Katherine Reid
Home Town:
Bridgeport, W.Va.
High School or College: Bridgeport High School
Why you applied for a NASA Internship? Since childhood, I have been fascinated with the study of space. One day I hope to have a career with NASA, and this internship was the perfect opportunity to begin that journey.
What are you doing for NASA? I am working with the Ground Systems Development and Operations team (GSDO) for the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The GSDO program is the development effort that is aimed at upgrading a majority of the Kennedy Space Center Ground Systems to ensure that the center is ready to support future launches (both government and commercial) in the post-shuttle era.
What do you like most about working for NASA? It has given me a chance to work alongside professionals with experience in the field I want to pursue, aerospace engineering. I love the daily challenges and the opportunity to work with students who also share my passion for space exploration.

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Name:
Joshua Hiett
Home Town: Bloomery, W.Va.
High School: Hampshire High School
Why you applied for a NASA internship? I applied to gain the opportunity to expand my educational horizon and to open a career pathway towards a job field that I am extremely interested in continuing for the remainder of my life.
What are you doing for NASA? I will be working to improve a 4 wheeled all-terrain surface rover platform, Rover-X, which was built in 2012. My job is to redesign Rover-X’s software architecture from a manual computer input system into a field testable system utilizing an Xbox gamming controller to control the rover’s basic motor and robotic arm manipulation capabilities, and develop a central control station for camera feedback.
What do you like most about working for NASA? The environment is what I like most about working for NASA. There are so many opportunities to get first-hand experience with a vast number of people and network. There is a high level of energy within the staff and other interns here and everyone is polite and helpful. I am also looking forward to the many challenges to come within my internship and overcoming them with the help of my mentor.

 

 

Intern Q&A: Dalton Okel and Laura Ullom

When the interns first arrived at NASA’s IV&V Program, we wanted to make sure that their experience here would be shared. We decided to pull together a few questions and asked the interns to give us the inside scoop on why they chose to apply at NASA. Here are a few of the results.

IMG_1772Name: Dalton Okel
Home Town: Fairmont, W.Va.
High School or College: Fairmont Senior High School and hopes to study aerospace engineering and computer science West Virginia University
Why you applied for a NASA internship? In previous years, I had been informed about the internship from previous interns Savannah Sims and Josh McPherson. When they described the projects they were working on to me, it interested me to look into the opportunity more. The projects they told me about were dealing with the fields of math and science, ranging from computer programming to robotics, which are my strongest fields in academics. After reading multiple descriptions of the projects offered for this summer internship I applied to as many of the projects as I could, because all of them intrigued me, hoping that I could possibly get the job.
What are you doing for NASA (brief summary of intern project)? In the project that I am working on, we are assessing the Space Network Ground Segment Sustainment (SGSS) requirements and design artifacts for coverage of fault management functions. We are using DOORS software requirements repository and design documents to identify fault scenarios and summarizing the system’s response capabilities. Our team is also researching legacy system failures and assessing the SGSS design for respective fault management capabilities.
What do you like most about working for NASA? The thing that I like most about working at NASA is the environment of people surrounding you. Although people are constantly working on projects and don’t have much time to communicate with each other, it seems that everyone working at the internship loves what they do. Also, the full time employees are very nice and courteous to the interns, which make us feel a lot more comfortable coming to work every day.

IMG_1793 Name: Laura Ullom
Hometown: Jane Lew, W.Va.
High School or College: Lewis County High School graduate who plans to study journalism at Cedarville University in the fall of 2014
Why did you apply for a NASA internship? I applied for an internship with NASA for mainly two reasons. (1) My first experience with NASA was good. (I went to one of those “Bring Your Kid to Work” days with my dad, had a blast, and to this day have a poster hanging in my bedroom of Expedition 8! (2) I became interested in technical writing (that’s pretty much taking complicated information and making it easy to understand). I wanted to see what it was like working in a real-life technical writing situation.
What are you doing for NASA? I am currently working on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Tool Analysis team as a technical writer. Basically, that means I am learning about what the brilliant analysts are working on and writing about, so other people can know too.
What do you like most about working for NASA? I think of all the things I like about working for NASA, the thing I like the most is seeing how all the people here are so passionate about the work they do. Everyone I’ve talked to is driven and excited to make a difference. The atmosphere motivates me to work hard, too!

Welcome to IV&V, Interns!

IMG_1776Summer at NASA’s IV&V Program is just another season for most employees, but for a few, it means working with a very promising group of college and high school interns. Some will be teaching their interns how to create applications in Java and some will be guiding them through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) presentation development.

The high school interns represent high schools located all over West Virginia, while the college interns represent colleges located throughout the entire United States. The ten college interns here this summer represent the program’s 5th class of the 10-week long Summer College Internship Program (SCIP), and the fourteen high school interns are the program’s 19th class of the 8-week long NASA IV&V Engineering Apprenticeship Program (NEAP). Both internship programs provide professional work experience, exposure to IV&V efforts, and an opportunity to experience real engineering careers. All of our interns will present their summer efforts at IV&V, Goddard Space Flight Center, and NASA Headquarters.

College Interns

Nick Ohi – Mentor: Ricky Forquer
Trey Duckworth – Mentor: Rick Hess
Derek Hanely – Mentor: Jeremy Yagle
Thomas Alappat – Mentor: Ashley LeMasters
Josh Hiett – Mentor: Steven Hard
Josh McPherson – Mentor: Bill Elson
Katherine Warner – Mentor: Rickey Beamer
Jared Leggett – Mentor: Greg Black
Ashton Armstrong – Mentor: Justin Smith
Georgette Ball – Mentor: Justin Smith

High School Interns

Matthew Gramlich, Cortney Mercer and Jonathan Lister – Mentor: Ricky Forquer
Esha Halabe – Mentor: Ryan Starn
Laura Ullom – Mentor: Rick Hess
David Lituchy and Isaak Wolfe  – Mentor: Darilyn Dunkerley
Robert Hewitt and Vincent Spagnuolo – Mentor: Don Kranz
Katherine Reid and Wyatt Kitzmiller– Mentor: Ed Meek
Samuel Talkington – Mentor: Ross Blankley
John Forquer and Dalton Okel– Mentor: Joelle Spagnuolo-Loretta

Congratulations are due to these interns for being IV&V’s summer 2014 intern group. Also, thank you to the program for supporting these internship initiatives. Everyone at IV&V hopes you have a great experience.

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Jess White
STEM
 Initiatives Lead
NASA’s Independent Verification & Validation Program

2012 Careers in the Corridor Event

Jess White is the STEM Initiatives Lead at NASA’s IV&V Program. He is the current coordinator for the Careers in the Corridor event. 

NASA’s IV&V Program STEM Initiatives Office held the fourth annual Careers in the Corridor (CIC) exhibition on Friday November 30, 2012. The event showcased the variety of high tech careers available in West Virginia and featured a presentation by a former space shuttle astronaut and West Virginia native, Capt. Jon McBride.

The objective of CIC is to help sophomores, juniors and seniors imagine the future they can realize by studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Astronaut McBride spoke about his journey to become what is now West Virginia’s only astronaut. Afterwards, he joined the students on a tour of job fair exhibits staffed by NASA and other corporate and academic recruiters. 

Among the exhibitors there were West Virginia University’s Dr. Powsiri Klinkhachorn and a few members of his WVU Robotics Team. Along with them they brought the WVU Mars Rover, which was built by the WVU Robotics Team and competed in the MARS RASC-AL RoboOps Challenge. Although the robotics held the students’ interest, many of the other vendors had the opportunity to interact with the students one-on-one, which was something they felt was very important. 

“Careers in the Corridor is one of the best communication platforms I have seem for the promotion of NASA’s STEM initiatives and inspiring the next generation of West Virginians,” vendor and TASC Office Manager Bree Layton said. 

The vendors certainly weren’t the only ones who saw the benefit of this annual event. Cynthia Howell of Heritage Christian School stated that this event was very good for her students and that she hoped that their school can participate in future IV&V educational outreach opportunities. 

A big thanks to all of those who helped make this event happen. It was a great success and one that we hope to continue for many years to come. If you are interested in becoming a vendor for next year’s event, please contact STEM Initiatives Lead Jess White at jesse.e.white@nasa.gov or Bailee Morris at bailee.r.morris@ivv.nasa.gov.

Jess White
STEM Initiatives Lead
NASA’s Independent Verification & Validation Program

Introspection of an Intern

Former SEAP, NEAP, and SCIP Intern Joel Abraham graduated summa cum laude from South Harrison High School with a 4.0 un-weighted grade point average. He currently attends West Virginia Wesleyan College and is double majoring in Computer Information Science and Mathematics while pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Joel has also interned at the NASA IV&V Facility each summer since 2008. 

“Try for this, I know you can do it,” my teacher said as she handed me a piece of paper. Glancing down, I saw the words ‘Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program.’ I politely took the paper and continued with my class work. Later that night my mom found the application on the floor beside my backpack with a slew of books strung around it.

“Do you realize what this is?” my mom asked holding up the paper. 

“Yeah, it’s an application I got at school today,” I replied.

“But do you realize what it is? It’s an application for an internship at the NASA IV&V Facility.”

I had no idea that this brief dialog would lead to five amazing summer internships with NASA’s IV&V Program.

Each summer, interns just like me, take on projects that give them the opportunity to develop their analytical and communication skills. Some of the challenging and diverse tasks I have been given have enabled me to polish these proficiencies by participating in hands-on projects, writing formal reports, and conducting various presentations. The unique internship programs offered at the NASA IV&V Program have provided me with remarkable opportunities to apply this knowledge while learning IV&V techniques, engineering principles, and office etiquette.

During the internship, each student is paired with a mentor. These mentors invest their time and efforts in order to help the interns succeed. Being able to work with many great mentors has been a blessing. Their support allowed me to work with NASA software and create tools to be used by the IV&V Program in the future! I’m not the only one who has reaped the benefits of this program. Students from north central West Virginia and, more recently, all over the United States have benefited from these programs, as well.

So, to all of those who have sacrificed their time and efforts to invest in the lives of young people, on behalf of all of the NASA IV&V interns, I would like to extend a very sincere thank you!For more information about NASA IV&V internships, please contact STEM Initiatives Lead Jess White at Jesse.E.White@nasa.gov or visit this link.

Joel Abraham
IV&V Intern
NASA’s Independent Verification & Validation Program

2012 Annual IV&V Workshop Guidelines

Ashley D’Annunzio is the Executive Assistant for the Office of the Director. She is responsible for special event coordination and provides executive support to NASA’s IV&V Program.  

We look forward to your attendance at our 2012 Annual Workshop on Verification and Validation being held at the West Virginia University Erikson Alumni Center in Morgantown, WV. As the date gets closer, please be sure to check our website – https://www.nasa.gov/centers/ivv/workshops/index.html – for updates. In the meantime, below are a few guidelines and some information to help prepare you for the workshop.

Guidelines for Attendees

    • Be open-minded. Be willing to listen and learn.
    • Have fun! You have access to all the players this week. Get the most out of these interactions that you can.
    • Respect the time. The schedule will be strictly followed. Please be sure to be in the meeting rooms at the scheduled times. If you need to be late, please enter the meeting rooms as quietly as possible.
    • Respect the presenters. If you need to work on your laptop during a scheduled presentation, please leave the meeting room to do so. Please do not play games or engage in social media (unless you are bragging about the workshop ) during presentations. We have scheduled plenty of breaks for you to check email or do other work as required.
    • A small meeting room will be available all 3 days to schedule short break-out sessions. Please contact Lisa Downs (304-612-9761, Sadie.E.Downs@nasa.gov, or in-person at the Workshop) to schedule a meeting. The meeting room cannot be scheduled for longer than 2 hour slots.
    • If you require any kind of assistance during the workshop, please see a member of the Workshop Committee. The members will all be wearing shirts that say “NASA IV&V.”
    • There is no cost for food at the pre-workshop event, breakfasts, lunches, breaks, or the evening receptions (THANK YOU to the sponsors!) Also coffee, tea, juice and soda will be provided at the breakfasts and lunches however you will have to buy your own drinks at the pre-workshop event and evening receptions (cash bar).
    • All days will begin promptly at 8:00 AM. If you plan to take advantage of the breakfast, please arrive early enough to enjoy it or to take it into the conference rooms with you.  

Additional Guidelines for Posters and Demos

    • Posters should be approximately 2’ x 3’ and may be color or black and white. Electronic posters will be due to the IV&V Workshop Committee via e-mail to Bree.A.Layton@ivv.nasa.gov no later than August 15, 2012 in PDF format.  If you require additional time, please let us know by August 15th. This year, the IV&V Workshop Committee will provide printing of the posters. If you have any special requirements, please send that information as well.
    • If there are any special requirements for demo set-ups, please contact Bree Layton via email at Bree.A.Layton@ivv.nasa.gov prior to September 11th.
    • Time has been scheduled for demos and posters each day. Please ensure that you have a representative present at the scheduled times.

Additional Guidelines for Presenters

    • A laptop pre-loaded with all of the presentations will be provided in each meeting room. If you require a special set-up or would prefer to use your own laptop, please let Lisa Downs know ASAP so that we can test your setup prior to your scheduled presentation.
    • Leave your title at the door. Your presentation should focus on the method/idea. It should not be a resume or advertisement of your personal or organization’s capabilities. We are here to learn from each other. If you are interested in providing information regarding your company’s services, there are sponsorship opportunities available.
    • Don’t be afraid to introduce new ideas.
    • Respect the time and stay within your allotment (30 minutes). Timekeeping will be strict!  

If you have any additional questions, please contact Lisa Downs at 304-367-8252 or Sadie.E.Downs@nasa.gov
See you in September!
 

Ashley D’Annunzio
Executive Assistant
NASA’s Independent Verification & Validation Program

MMS Team Speaks to ERC Workshop

Eric Sylvania is the NASA Project Manager for the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission (MMS) IV&V effort. He is responsible for the day-to-day planning and execution of the technical and programmatic activities for the IV&V effort. Anita Berns is the Lead Engineer for the MMS IV&V effort and Brandon Miller is an analyst on the MMS IV&V Team.  

Each summer the Educator Resource Center (ERC) hosts a week-long workshop for educators on a variety of topics to supplement the curriculum and help meet national and state educational standards. In early July, the ERC hosted a group of educators for a “Space Weather” workshop, including an overview of magnetic reconnection and MMS. I, along with some other MMS IV&V team members, heard that the MMS project was going to be highlighted during the workshop, so we contacted the ERC to see if we could participate. As a result of this collaborative effort, Anita Berns, Brandon Miller and I were able to spend time with the educators in an effort to help them understand a little bit about what we do here at the NASA IV&V Program.

Project Manager Eric Sylvania and team speak to the workshop attendees about what they do for the project.

Anita and I provided the educators with an overview of the program, some insight into what IV&V is (and what IV&V is NOT!), and a few thoughts about the MMS project and the MMS IV&V effort, while Brandon provided some practical, real results from the IV&V analyses performed on MMS software. The educators were very receptive of the presentation, asked lots of questions and were very appreciative of the insight provided by the IV&V team. The IV&V team was very thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with the ERC and to be given an opportunity to talk to the folks on the front lines of our education system that will have a chance to influence the next generations of scientists, engineers and mathematicians.  

For more information about the ERC and/or opportunities to collaborate, contact Todd Ensign at todd.ensign@ivv.nasa.gov or learn more about the ERC by visiting their website at http://erc.ivv.nasa.gov.

For more information on this workshop, check out the ERC’s Josh Revels’ blog entry.  

Eric Sylvania
Project Manager
NASA’s Independent Verification & Validation Program