Montana State University

Montana Space Grant Consortium to hold student research symposium on April 20

April 3, 2012 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN - A mobility engineer for a Mars rover and a sky watcher who discovered 22 comets will speak at Montana State University during the Montana Space Grant Consortium's annual Student Research Symposium on Friday, April 20.

College students from across Montana will present talks and posters about their research projects in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics during the symposium which will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the SUB ballrooms. They will talk about such things as operating MSU's student-built satellite and interning with NASA. Among the other topics will be high-altitude balloons, hailstone formation, take-off flight in birds, short-term weather forecasting, wildlife corridors, and preparing for the national solar spectrograph competition to be held at MSU.

Jaime Waydo, a mobility engineer for the Curiosity Rover that will land on Mars later this year, will lead a workshop at 12:30 p.m. in SUB Ballroom A. She works for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

David Levy, said to be one of the most successful comet discoverers in history, will speak at 4 p.m. in Ballroom A. He was co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which collided with Jupiter in 1994. He was science editor for Parade Magazine from 1997 to 2006. He won an Emmy in 1998 as part of the writing team for the Discovery Channel's, "Three Minutes to Impact."

The events are free and open to the public.

The complete schedule is:
8 a.m. - Welcome. Ballroom A.
8:30 a.m. - Parallel Session 1
9:45 a.m. -- Poster speed talks
10 a.m. - Poster and display session. Ballroom D.
10:30 a.m. - Parallel session 2.
11:45 a.m. - Presenters and judges' lunch. Ballroom A.
12:30 p.m. - "The Wheels of the Curiosity Rover." Workshop with Jaime Waydo, JPL mobility engineer. SUB Ballroom A.
1:15 p.m. - Parallel session 3.
2:30 p.m. - Poster speed talks.
2:45 p.m. - Poster and display session. Ballroom D.
3:30 p.m. - Awards ceremony and refreshments. Ballroom A.
4 p.m. - "A Nighwatchman's Journey: My Adventures as a Comet Discoverer and Sky Watcher." Keynote address by David Levy of Jarnac Observatory in Arizona, co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. Ballroom A.
5 p.m. - Adjourn.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or