1. Astrobiology Activities at the Chickasaw Nation Aviation and Space Academy

    Team members Gustavo Cruz-Diaz and Christopher Materese pose with Chickasaw students at the Chickasaw Nation Aviation and Space Academy (CNASA). Image credit: None
    Team members Gustavo Cruz-Diaz and Christopher Materese pose with Chickasaw students at the Chickasaw Nation Aviation and Space Academy (CNASA).

    Team members Gustavo Cruz-Diaz and Christopher Materese of the NAINASA Ames Research Center Team, participated in the Chickasaw Nation Aeronautics and Space Academy (CNASA) held in Ada, Oklahoma on June 5, 2018. The Chickasaw Nation has been conducting this week-long camp for several years in order to encourage their Native American students to consider careers in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. Drs. Materese and Cruz-Diaz talked to 22 students (8th to 12th grade) about research at NASA and made presentations that included several hands-on science demonstrations. The activities were designed to teach the students about molecular properties, chromatography, spectroscopy, refractive properties of light, and electromagnetism. The students were very interested in the presentation, in particular those related to the search for life on other Solar System objects and on exoplanets, and all of the students participated enthusiastically in the hands-on demonstrations. Some of the demonstrations, such as the flame test and building an electric motor, were particularly popular.