[svlug] NASA connections for lecture at a public middle school?

Christian Einfeldt einfeldt at gmail.com
Thu Nov 29 10:46:36 PST 2007


Hi Rick,

On Nov 28, 2007 10:14 PM, Rick Kwan <kwanrj03 at comcast.net> wrote:

> I used to work at Ames,


Do you still have any friends there?  I am thinking that an introduction
through someone who formerly worked there might help some of the FOSS-using
scientists there to understand that we are not doing just a typical middle
school rocket ship dog-and-pony show.  We are trying to help the kids
understand that the FOSS software in their Edubuntu thin client lab and
their PClinuxOS is fundamentally similar to the stuff that is used to do all
of this exciting science.  Same for the teachers, who currently don't really
have any understanding of the differences between Windows and a real
operating system.  They actually think that Windows is a better operating
system, which it is, if you live in a world where all of the apps that you
use on a daily basis are only written for Microsoft Windows.


> but nothing to do with rovers or in-flight
> software.  Ames is the "center of excellence" in information technology
> for NASA.  The debris impact evaluations during the shuttle missions
> were done on the Linux-based Columbia supercomputing cluster.


That is an exciting bit of information, but I am sort of interested in
finding someone who can talk to 10 to 13 year olds about the use of FOSS in
controlling the rovers, because the kids studied that last year and will do
so again this year.


>
> The Public Affairs Office at Ames often knows of speakers from various
> projects.


Thanks for this tip, but I am hoping that I can find a FOSS scientist inside
Ames who would take a personal interest in getting us a good speaker who can
grok what we are trying to accomplish here in terms of linking FOSS up with
scientific excellence and excitement.


>  And if you visit the Exploration Center (white tent) at Ames,
> the people there know how were the contacts for the various exhibits
> there, including rover stuff.


That is another nice tip, thanks a lot.  We will eventually be requesting
permission to film at Ames, and so this is a nice destination for me to know
about for scheduling my time there.

---
Christian Einfeldt,
Producer, The Digital Tipping Point
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