Multiverse Blog

Nov
17
2015

A Fond Farewell to the Interns of NASA NOVAS

Posted 7 years 76 days ago ago by Leitha Thrall
Leitha Thrall

["During the weeks before, the students built their own rockets with different designs to see which design would go the highest. The students had several opportunities to shoot off their creations into the clear blue sky."]

montage of smiling young people doing science and art activities

NOVAS (NASA Opportunities for Visualization, Art and Science) was a three year Multiverse program funded by NASA. The premise was to have students, primarily underrepresented groups in the STEM careers, learn about science and NASA missions through lectures, hands-on activities and artistic projects. In the beginning, we conducted workshops, afterschool programs, outreach star parties, and during this time, we also started an internship program. The core group was Dan Zevin, program manager and developer, Steve Croft, UC Berkeley Astronomer, rikki Shackelford, Student Engagement, and myself, the art program developer. We included many other speakers and artists, including Lynette Cook, a professional space science illustrator whose specialty is exoplanets.

montage of smiling young people doing science and art activities

A montage of NOVAS activities over the three years.

Our last event for the internship and the entire program was held on Saturday, September 26th at NASA Ames Research Center’s airfield. It was a family affair with the students inviting their parents and siblings so they could be a part of the festivities. During the weeks before, the students built their own rockets with different designs with the idea that we would see which design would go the highest. The students had several times to shoot off their creations into the clear blue sky.

montage of smiling young people doing science and art activities

We capped off the day with a potluck lunch, in the cool, shade of trees where we could all sit and enjoy each other’s company. Dan handed out NOVAS certifications of participation in an informal ceremony and gave a speech about the program and how it had evolved to include the internship. After the lunch/ceremony, the interns were free to leave or visit any of the visitor locations on the Ames Research Center base. The closest tour available was a decommissioned plane that the interns went to, that was in between the airfield and where our picnic was. Then, one by one, families who drove separate left. In one car, an intern took the wheel and waved farewell to us all. The remainder got a ride back to the East Bay in vans we rented for the occasion. All in all, the parents were very appreciative of all the program provided throughout their time and were sad to see this end, as well as the interns, and the team.

 






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