My afternoon meeting which was scheduled until 5:00 p.m. got over early and I was totally fried. I went back to my office and tried to stay focused and get a few more things accomplished when I just decided to stop working and wandered over to the Ag area to check on Sally Sterns, since I figured she was immersed in the horticulture lab getting ready for the garden fest on Saturday. And btw, make sure you head out to campus on Saturday, especially at 1:00 p.m. when we will be planting our 100th tree. check out the gardenfest at http://tinyurl.com/bmtx4ve.
En route to the Ag department I ran into a group of students between SE and MS working on a project with Dan Kimball, Kenward Vaughn, and Nick Strobel. These students are part of a national competition concerning NASA’s IRIS mission (that will study the Sun). They are one of three teams that BC has put together for the competition.
Here is an excerpt from Nick Strobel’s January 5, 2013 publication of the Night Sky in the Bakersfield Californian. http://tinyurl.com/c2mfru3
Associated with IRIS is the National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition in which teams from colleges and universities design, build, and test optical instruments to answer questions about the Sun or use sunlight to investigate some science question about the Earth. Although at first glance it looks like the competition has a narrow goal of spectroscopy of the Sun, the real goal is to train future scientists and engineers in how to solve problems as a team by working on a real-world science question. Most of the students who participate will probably not go into space science but the experience gained and techniques developed from the competition will be invaluable in whatever future science and engineering problems we’ll need them to solve for us. Reading any newspaper shows that we’re certainly going to need a lot of home-grown expertise in STEM fields for the future challenges in this county and state and, heck, in our inter-connected world. For the first time Bakersfield College will participate in the competition and we’re starting in a big way with not just one team but three teams. The teams have received NASA mini-grants to build the spectrographs within the set budget of the mini-grant but the students are going to need help in travel costs to the competition judging event in May. If you or your company would like to encourage these future Bakersfield scientists and engineers, please contact the Bakersfield College Foundation with whatever financial help you would like to provide (it’ll even be tax-deductible).