Student Research Symposium

Group photo of student participants in MDSGC Student Research Symposium 2018. Photo credit: Will Kirk, JHU Homewood photography.

The 2018 MDSGC Student Research Symposium, held Saturday, July 28, showcased presentations by more than 40 student interns and researchers working at sites across Maryland. Topics ranged from rocket payloads to black holes to detecting bio-signatures in desert rocks. Institutions represented included Capitol Technology University, Goddard Space Flight Center, Hagerstown Community College, Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, the United States Naval Academy, University of Maryland Baltimore County, University of Maryland College Park, and University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The full program can be found here.

MDSGC congratulates all participants on a productive summer and looks forward to more of their successes in the future!

All participants and attendees are invited to submit feedback on the symposium here.

2018 Student Research Symposium

MDSGC held its 2018 Student Research Symposium on Saturday, July 28th, at the Mt. Washington Conference Center in Baltimore, MD. The overall schedule was:

7:00 – 8:00 a.m.
Registration and poster setup. (Continental breakfast provided.) Presenters should plan to arrive no later than 7:30 a.m.

8:00 – 9:45 a.m.
Talk session 1.

9:45 – 10:00 a.m.
Group photos.

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Poster session. (Coffee and snacks provided.)

11:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Talk session 2.

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Luncheon and discussion.

Click here for directions to the Mt. Washington Conference Center.

Click here for presentation guidelines (PDF).

The full program follows, including links to presentation files (in PDF) where available. This page will be updated as final presentation versions are submitted.

Talk Session 1

8:00 a.m.
Introductory Remarks — Matt Collinge

8:05 a.m.
Studying the CGM through Quasar Absorption (PDF) — Elizabeth Fletcher and Elizabeth Apala

8:15 a.m.

8:25 a.m.

8:35 a.m.

8:45 a.m.

8:55 a.m.

9:05 a.m.

9:15 a.m.

9:25 a.m.
Experiential Learning in Automation and Robotics (PDF) — Juliette Abbonizio and Charné Folks

Poster Session

Dusty Plasma Lab: SPARK Circuit and Frequency Testing (PDF) — Marcus Bailey

Biobot (PDF) — Erik Bryson

Engineering Outreach through Summer Programs (PDF) — Crista Campbell

Why is the Sky Dark at Night? Olbers’ Paradox and its Resolutions (PDF) — Kayleigh Gallagher

Solar-System Bodies as Tests of New Physics (PDF) — Amelia Genus

CACTUS-1: Coordinated Applied Capitol Technology University Satellite (PDF) — George Giakoumakis

Black Hole Firewalls and the Information Paradox (PDF) — Carson Goettlicher

Exotic Spacetime Topology as an Alternative to Dark Matter and Energy (PDF) — Greg Kuri

Far-Red Light Photoacclimation (FaRLiP) at the Dry Limit of Life (PDF) — Bayleigh Murray

Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor — Andre Nottingham II

The Metallicity Gradient of the Ultra-faint Dwarf Galaxy Population — Karl Osterbauer

Classroom Simulation of Gravitational Waves from Orbiting Binaries (PDF) — Jon Perry

Spacecraft Flight Deck Simulator: Neutral Buoyancy Docking Simulation (PDF) — Corey Vernon

Station Observation & Locating Optimizer (PDF) — Ahmed Woodson

Talk Session 2

11:00 a.m.
Welcome Back — Matt Collinge

11:05 a.m.

11:20 a.m.
Much Dark, Very Dust (PDF) — Jessica Gillcrist and Maegan Jennings

11:30 a.m.

11:40 a.m.

11:50 a.m.

12:00 p.m.

12:10 p.m.

12:20 p.m.
Air Quality (PDF) — T.J. Krauel

12:30 p.m.

12:40 p.m.
Utilizing the MADe Modeling Tool (PDF) — Youngjo Lim and Tony Odita

Scholarship Applications

The regular application period for Fall 2018 scholarships was March 16 through May 1, 2018. Late applications will still be considered on a case by case basis, if funding slots are available. For information about the program and to apply, visit our Scholarships page. Priority is given to eligible returning students, but new applications can always be considered, contingent on the availability of funds.

Current scholarship recipients: if you are looking for the awardee information form, it is here.

NASA Express and Science WOW!

Attention, STEM educators, students, and space enthusiasts! Did you know NASA has a weekly service providing information about student and educator opportunities — workshops, scholarships, internships, and more — as well as inspirations for the latest and greatest ideas for science education? If you’re not already registered, head over to the NASA signup page now!

NASA Express Logo

NASA Science Wow banner

MDSGC Students at 231st AAS Meeting

MDSGC proudly supported presentations by several students at the 231st meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), held January 8-12, 2018, in Washington, DC.

Towson Professor James Overduin with students at 231st AAS meeting.

The poster topics included using the 2017 total solar eclipse to repeat Arthur Eddington’s 1919 test of General Relativity; using Towson University’s telescope to study the resolution of Olbers’ Paradox; and using the asteroid Psyche to test the Equivalence Principle. What the projects have in common is their connection to astronomical observations and fundamental physics, a strong emphasis on hands-on student research, and their supervisor: Towson University Professor James Overduin. The three posters presented at the AAS meeting represent collaborations among Towson faculty and students and several local high school students.

The solar eclipse poster generated considerable discussion that kept its authors Keri McClelland and Kelsey Glazer busy answering questions. Professor Overduin explained its popularity: “It seems that we are one of only two or three teams who have tried to do this (replicate Eddington’s test with the 2017 eclipse) and that only one other has been able to do more than us.”

MDSGC congratulates the Towson team on their accomplishments and wishes them success in their future projects! The three student posters are reproduced below.

Poster on students repeating Eddington's test of General Relativity using 2017 solar eclipse.

Olbers paradox poster from 231st AAS meeting.

Psyche poster from 231st AAS meeting.

Next RockOn Workshop – Summer 2019

Screen shot of RockOn 2018 announcement pageRockOn, a workshop at Wallops Island for sounding rocket payload design, is an exciting chance for teams of students to kickstart payload projects at their home institutions. Participants in the workshop will build a working scientific payload and then see it launch on a real sounding rocket!

RockOn is hosted by CO and VA Space Grants; MDSGC strongly encourages Maryland teams or individuals to apply for support to participate. The 2018 workshop dates were June 16-22, 2018. Discounted early registration was available until March 23. Registration officially closed on May 2, but as of January 30, 2018, all slots were filled.

Maryland teams or individuals planning to attend or interested for a future year should contact Matt Collinge for details.