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Special Initiatives Award Recipients

Each year, the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium awards a number of Special Initiatives grants to any established organization including, but not limited to, schools (K-12 and higher education), aerospace industries, and non-profit aerospace associations. The WSGC Special Initiatives Program rewards projects that are intended to encourage, attract, and retain underrepresented groups, especially women, minorities and the developmentally challenged, in careers in space- or aerospace-related fields.

WSGC is pleased to announce and congratulate the following recipients of the Special Initiatives Awards.

2017-2018


Barbara Bielec
BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute, Madison
Project Title: A Celebration of Life XXIII: Space Rocks!
Synopsis: There will be two sessions of A Celebration of Life XXIII: Space Rocks!. The first session, for upper elementary students, will be held June 11-15, 2018. The second session, for middle school students, will be held  June 18-29, 2018. Hands-on activities, in outdoor, classroom and laboratory settings, are designed to engage students’ interest in science and STEM careers.

Elizabeth Holden
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Project Title: Physics of Roller Derby
Synopsis: The authors are both physicists/astronomers and roller derby skaters. They lead a variety of outreach events on the physics of roller derby.

Micheal Beall
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Project Title: UW - Madison Gear Learning & Astro-Botany Educational Gaming System
Synopsis: Gear Learning of WCER and the UW-Madison Gilroy Astrobiology Lab are teaming up to work with students from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County to engage students with STEM content through a game design experience. Students (ages 10 - 16) will attend monthly workshops at the Gear Learning Studio on the UW - Madison campus to help design a series of mini-games about “Colonizing Mars and the Biology of Survival”. To design the games, students will be given access to online and print resources as well as direct access to subject matter experts to learn about biology, physics, and engineering.

Deidre Green
Simpson Street Free Press
Project Title: Academic Achievement: The Science of Wisconsin
Synopsis: SSFP launches new STEM projects and a bilingual “On Wisconsin” newspaper. Our plan expands existing partnerships. We will foster and promote STEM education. We measure each student’s academic progress.

Susan Kelly
University of Wisconsin- La Crosse
Project Title: Book and Summer Science Camps to Inspire Middle School Students
Synopsis: This grant seeks to support two STEM outreach initiatives directed to middle school students, a two-day STEM camps and a book on the first African American woman to earn a PhD in mathematics.

Richard Scott
KOJO Productions, Inc.
Project Title: The SKY’S THE LIMIT INSTITUTE
Synopsis: The Sky’s the Limit” Program was introduced in the summer of 2017 as a 9-week pilot program designed to engage and inspire young people, especially students of color, to learn about aviation and aerospace concepts through a variety of classroom and hands-on activities. Parents and relatives were also encouraged to participate in order to support students learning as well as learning about the education and future career opportunities in these fields. The program was held for 2 1/2 hours on Saturday mornings. Through a combination of interactive lessons, along with discussions by professional guest speakers, and field trips, the program exposed participants to aviation and aerospace concepts, as well as STEAM-related careers in these fields.

Richard Stewart
University of Wisconsin-Superior
Project Title: Aeronautics and Space Camp for High School Girls
Synopsis: The Transportation and Logistics Research Center is proposing to the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium to host a program with high school girls that will introduce them to aerospace related science and technologies through support of local industry and agencies. Partnering with the regional Girl Scout council, which covers most of Minnesota and six counties in northern Wisconsin, will draw from a population of 250,000 people. The program will tie together airplane manufacturing and repair companies, FAA control tower and U.S. Air National Guard facility tours. Fixed wing and helicopters will be used along with flight simulation. We will teach the basics of rocketry and the girls will design, build, and launch water pressure propelled rockets. This camp will focus on aeronautics and space transportation and STEM learning.

2016-2017


Barbara Bielec
BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute, Madison
Project Title: A Celebration of Life XXII: Life in Space! Elementary and Middle School Sessions
Synopsis: A Celebration of Life XXII: Life in Space! is a program to be held June 26 - July 7, 2017. Hands-on activities, in a variety of settings, are designed to engage students’ interest in science and STEM careers.

Deidre Green
Interactive Media Solutions; Associated Bank; Evjue Foundation
Project Title: On Wisconsin! A Wisconsin Idea in Action
Synopsis: SSFP is one of Wisconsin’s flagship academic support programs. In 2017 the organization launches its 25th-anniversary celebration called On Wisconsin! A Wisconsin Idea in Action. Students will research and write about STEM and related careers. Special feature series include “Women in Science and Math” and “STEM in the 21st Century: Wisconsin’s New Economy.” SSFP students produce six youth newspapers and publish STEM content on various media platforms. They inspire young readers across Wisconsin.

2015-2016


Barbara Bielec
BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute, Madison
Project Title: A Celebration of Life XX: Planet Earth and Beyond! Elementary and Middle School Sessions
Synopsis: A Celebration of Life XX: Planet Earth and Beyond! is a two-week summer program for grades 3-8. Hands-on activities in outdoor, classroom and lab settings, engage students in science and STEM careers.

Deidre Green
Simpson Street Free Press
Project Title: Wisconsin Idea in Action-Underrepresented Groups in STEM Fields.
Synopsis: SSFP students research and write about science and related career fields. Space science is our most popular section. “Women in Science and Math” is our most popular feature series. SSFP students produce five youth newspapers and publish content on various media platforms. Students learn practical academic skills. They learn to love science. They inspire young readers across Wisconsin.

John Heasley
Kickapoo Valley Reserve, La Farge
Project Title: Space Club
Synopsis: Space Club will engage low-income rural students from Vernon and Monroe Counties in space science activities in an after-school program at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve to encourage them to consider STEM careers.

Cassandra Roemhildt
UW-Superior, Superior
Project Title: Aeronautics and Space with Girl Scouts
Synopsis: A program that will introduce high school aged Girl Scouts to aeronautics and space by taking industry related facility tours, completing STEM related activities with presentations from industry professionals, and a trip to the planetarium. Girls Scouts will also have the opportunity to learn about careers, as well as speak with female role models, in the industry.

Forrest Schultz
UW-Stout, Menomonie
Project Title: Science Olympiad: The Link Between Formal and Informal Education.
Synopsis: Wisconsin Science Olympiad is an informal education competition for students in STEM that brings together students, teachers, coaches, mentors, parents, and many community members who are involved in the STEM industry. This project empowers under-served populations to acquire the materials.

Jessica Laeseke
UW-Richland, Richland Center
Project Title: UW-Richland Robotics Camp.
Synopsis: UW-Richland Camp will increase grade 6-8 student exposure to STEM by engaging in the design and programming of robots. Course work will expose students to programming the robot by using STEM and will foster an increased appreciation for how math can be used in the real world. Coursework will inspire, train, and support students to succeed in areas of study in the STEM fields.

2014-2015


Barbara Bielec
BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute, Madison
Project Title: A Celebration of Life XX: Wild Weather! Elementary and Middle School Sessions
Synopsis: A Celebration of Life XX: Wild Weather! is a two-week summer program for grades 3-8. Hands-on activities in outdoor, classroom and lab settings, engage students in science and STEM careers.

Deidre Green
Simpson Street Free Press
Project Title: Wisconsin Idea/La Prensa Libre de Simpson Street
Synopsis: SSFP student reporters publish a popular Space Science section in the Free Press and other publications. Award-winning science writing lesson plans help students reach thousands of their peers, drawing young readers into core subject learning. This project deals directly with achievement gaps in Wisconsin.  The plan is designed to reduce persistent gaps in a geographic area with large numbers of K-12 students from underrepresented groups.

John Heasley
Kickapoo Valley Reserve, La Farge
Project Title: Space for All:  Creating Permanent Astronomy Outreach Exhibits at Kickapoo Valley Reserve
Synopsis: Space for All will research and design permanent astronomy outreach exhibits to encourage young people from underrepresented groups to pursue STEM careers.

Chris Janssen
Wausau School District Planetarium, Wausuau
Project Title: Exploring the Final Frontier through Engineering and Teamwork
Synopsis: Artemis is a scalable PC-based spaceship simulator that allows individuals to work together to accomplish a common goal in learning relevant and current science and engineering.

Susan Kelly
UW-La Crosse, La Crosse
Project Title: Former NASA Astronaut to Speak at Two Middle School Science and Mathematics Camps at UW-La Crosse in Summer 2016.
Synopsis: A NASA astronaut will speak to middle school students during week-long camps.  K-12 teachers will be invited to attend so they can inspire the next generation of girls and boys in science.

2013-2014


Barbara Bielec
BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute, Madison
Project Title: A Celebration of Life XVIII: Energy! Elementary and Middle School Sessions
Synopsis: A Celebration of Life XVIII: Energy! is a two-week summer program for grades 3-8. Hands-on activities in outdoor, classroom and lab settings, engage students in science and STEM careers.

James Kramer
Simpson Street Free Press
Project Title: Simpson Street Free Press Online Space Science Coverage
Synopsis: SSFP student reporters publish a popular Space Science section in the Free Press and other publications. Award-winning science writing lesson plans help students reach thousands of their peers, drawing young readers into core subject learning. We are expanding coverage related to careers in science. SSFP curriculum is now being installed at multiple after-school sites.

Shelly Lesher
UW-La Crosse
Project Title: Promoting Women in Physics and Astronomy through a Distinguished Lecture Series at UW-La Crosse
Synopsis: This Lecture Series aims to bring women speakers to UW-L to be role models for the undergraduates of the physics & astronomy program and to expose them to career opportunities in these fields.

Elissa Lines
Experimental Aircraft Association
Project Title: EAA: Steps Down the AISLE
Synopsis: Steps Down the AISLE is an ambitious two-year project addressing crucial stages in developing the often overlooked or underestimated potential for science learning in non-school settings.

2012-2013


Barbara Bielec
BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute, Madison
Project Title: A Celebration of Life XVII – Healthy Planet! Elementary and Middle School
Synopsis: Geology on Earth and Mars! is a two-week summer program for grades 3-8. Hands-on activities, in outdoor, classroom and lab settings, are designed to engage students in science and STEM careers.

Jack Blake
Brookwood Middle School
Project Title: Aerospace & Flight for Young Women-A Passport to STEM Adventures
Synopsis: Through educational concepts and technology with a STEM emphasis, a young woman’s motivation to achieve and grow in the world of aerospace will be stimulated.

Kevin DeCramer
Experimental Aircraft Association
Project Title: EAA FlightLink 2g and Women Soar- “Expanding Horizons”
Synopsis: FlightLink 2G is a comprehensive day-long, standards-aligned program designed to introduce upper elementary students to the tools and principles of aviation technology and engineering. Women Soar will bring teen girls and women mentors together for 4 days of aviation and STEM activities and challenges to encourage the girls to pursue education and careers in these fields.

Mandy Kroninger/James Kramer
Simpson Street Free Press
Project Title: Simpson Street Free Press Online Space Science Coverage
Synopsis: Student reporters will publish a popular, fascinating Space Science learning section in the Free Press and other publications.

Clare Seguin
Lincoln Elementary School
Project Title: Lincoln Earth and Sundial: Art Meets Science
Synopsis: Through a unique collaboration between Lincoln Elementary art and science teachers and UW Space Place, students will design and install an analemmatic (human) sundial on the school grounds.

2011-2012


Barbara Bielec
BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute, Madison
Project Title: A Celebration of Life XVI – Healthy Planet! Elementary and Middle School
Synopsis: The Biopharmaceutical Technology Center Institute and the African American Ethnic Academy cosponsor A Celebration of Life XV – Healthy Planet!, a two-week summer science program for 3rd-5th and 6th-8th graders.

Jack Blake
Brookwood Middle School
Project Title: STEM/Aerospace Activities for Young Women

Kevin DeCramer
Experimental Aircraft Association
Project Title: EAA FlightLink 2g and Women Soar- “Expanding Horizons”
Synopsis: FlightLink 2G is a comprehensive day-long, standards-aligned program designed to introduce upper elementary students to the tools and principles of aviation technology and engineering. Women Soar will bring teen girls and women mentors together for 4 days of aviation and STEM activities and challenges to encourage the girls to pursue education and careers in these fields.

Reynee Kachur
UW-Oshkosh
Project Title: Students Teaching Astronomy Related Sciences (STARS) Program
Synopsis: The Students Teaching Astronomy Related Science (STARS) program is designed to promote the knowledge of and interest in space-related science to Lighted School House K-5 grade and UW Oshkosh students.

James Kramer
Simpson Street Free Press
Project Title: Simpson Street Free Press Online Space Science Coverage
Synopsis: Student reporters will publish a popular, fascinating Space Science learning section in the Free Press and other publications. We will expand science coverage and publish more science career content.

 

 

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