News & Updates

University of Kentucky to host STEM conference for middle school girls April 29, 2017

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A team from the University of Kentucky has received a grant from Kentucky NSF EPSCoR (National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) for Education and Outreach Activities to fund a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) conference for middle school girls at UK this spring.

The primary goal of the conference, titled “Expanding Your Horizons (EYH),” is to encourage middle school girls to consider STEM studies by providing them with memorable interactive workshop experiences, visible female role models in STEM fields and exposure to different career paths in STEM. EYH seeks to provide middle school girls and their parents an inspiring environment in order to help both groups recognize and pursue opportunities in STEM. The conference will be held April 29 in the Jacobs Science Building.

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West Liberty University professor obtains grant for labs

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West Liberty University recently received a $19,300 grant to purchase state-of-the-art instrumentation to enhance its anatomy and physiology laboratories.

Natalia Omelchenko, pictured below, applied for the grant from the West Virginia Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. She is an assistant professor of biology in the department of natural sciences and mathematics.

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Monumental modeling

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Over the past decade, a dark substance has tarnished the bright white dome of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. Despite appearances, it's not just dirt and grime.

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NASA sending UMaine prototype to the International Space Station

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A wireless leak detection system developed by graduate students at the University of Maine will be part of the International Space Station. It will be the first hardware from UMaine, at least in recent memory, that will function in space for a long period of time, according to the UMaine researchers.

The prototype leak detection system, which was tested by NASA in the inflatable lunar habitat and Wireless Sensing Laboratory on the Orono campus, could improve the safety of astronauts on the ISS and in other space activities, according to a news release from the university. Leaks causing air and heat loss are a major safety concern for astronauts.

Electrical engineering graduate students Casey Clark and Lonnie Laborite developed the prototype and performed safety tests at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The project was funded by a three-year, $100,000 NASA grant received by Ali Abedi, a UMaine professor of electrical and computer engineering, to help develop the technology through the Maine Space Grant Consortium in 2014. The project was one of five in the nation to receive funding from NASA–EPSCoR for research and technology development onboard ISS. Vincent Caccese, a UMaine mechanical engineering professor, also collaborated on the project.

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FOA: NSF INCLUDES

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NSF INCLUDES supports efforts to create networked relationships among organizations whose goals include developing talent from all sectors of society to build the STEM workforce. This initiative seeks to improve collaborative efforts aimed at enhancing the preparation, increasing the participation, and ensuring the contributions of individuals from groups that have traditionally been underrepresented and underserved in the STEM enterprise: women, persons with disabilities, African Americans/Blacks, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Native Pacific Islanders, and persons from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Significant advancement in the inclusion of these groups will result in a new generation of STEM talent and leadership to secure our nation’s future and long-term economic competitiveness.

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EVENT: Discover STEM -- volunteers needed!

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Discover STEM is a week-long series of events hosted by the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History.  Each day, students from underserved 4th through 8th grade classes across Albuquerque and beyond visit the museum to spark their interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through hands-on activities and interaction with the region's leading science and engineering professionals. 

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There’s an antidote to America’s long economic malaise: College towns

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Lee County, Ala., lost 7,000 jobs in industries from textiles to tires to fitness equipment when Chinese competition invaded America. Vacant storefronts dotted downtown Opelika, the county seat, and disability claims soared as older workers with limited skills struggled to find new jobs.

Instead of merely surviving, though, Lee County is now thriving. Its unemployment rate of 4.7% in October was slightly lower than for the U.S. as a whole. Since 2001, the east-central Alabama county has added 14,000 jobs, five times the growth rate in the rest of the country.

Why has Lee County been so resilient? One of the biggest reasons is that it is home to a major college town.

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Oceanic 'Heat Sink'

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A new multi-institutional study of the so-called global warming “hiatus” phenomenon — the possible temporary slowdown of the global mean surface temperature (GMST) trend said to have occurred from 1998 to 2013 — concludes the hiatus simply represents a redistribution of energy within the Earth system, which includes the land, atmosphere and the ocean.

In a paper published today in Earth’s Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, lead author Xiao-Hai Yan of the University of Delaware, along with leading scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and University of Washington, discuss new understandings of the global warming “hiatus” phenomenon.

In particular, the researchers point to the prominent role played by the global ocean in absorbing the extra heat from the atmosphere by acting as a “heat sink” as an explanation for the observed decrease in GMST, which is considered a key indicator of climate change.

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RFP: FY17 NASA Cooperative Agreement Notice EPSCoR ISS Flight Opportunity

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Office of Education, in cooperation with the International Space Station (ISS) Research Office, NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD), Human Exploration & Operations Mission Directorate  (HEOMD), Science Mission Directorates (SMD), Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), and NASA’s ten centers (including JPL), solicits proposals for the NASA Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) International Space Station (ISS) Flight Opportunity. Each funded NASA EPSCoR proposal is expected to establish research activities that will make significant contributions to the strategic research and technology development priorities of one or more of the Mission Directorates, and contribute to the overall research infrastructure, science and technology capabilities, higher education, and economic development of the jurisdiction receiving funding. 

This Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN or solicitation) is for current or previously funded EPSCoR projects that are mature enough to design a research experiment or develop research experimental hardware to the point that it can be safely flown on the International Space Station (ISS).  Each funded NASA EPSCoR proposal is expected to perform scientific and/or technical research in areas that support NASA’s strategic research and technology development priorities and contribute to the overall research infrastructure, science and technology capabilities, higher education, and economic development of the jurisdiction receiving funding.  

NASA EPSCoR is moving to a two year procurement cycle.  As a result, jurisdictions responding to this Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) may submit up to two proposals.  It is anticipated that three (3) to five (5) awards for FY 2017 and three (3) to five (5) awards for FY 2018 of up to $100,000 to be expended over a three-year period of performance may be made under this CAN in accordance with regulatory guidance found at Title 2 CFR Part 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards as adopted and supplemented by NASA through Title 2 CFR Part 1800: Federal Agency Regulations for Grants and Agreements - NASA.  The exact number of awards depends on the available EPSCoR Research Budget.

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