Informal Education Resources

OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Promotion and Research Challenge (OPSPARC) 2010-2011

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Hear what 2010/11's winners and participants had to say!

I really enjoyed this challenge. It solidified my choice to pursue a career in mechanical engineering. One of the most rewarding parts for me was working with Nam, since he has experience in the engineering industry. He provided a lot of insight into how the engineering design process was completed in industry, which added a lot to our creative ideas. Thanks again for everything that NASA has done to make this possible. - Jill Friese, High School Student, Lutheran South Academy, Houston, TX

By participating in this challenge, you learn about and use new technologies throughout the competition, some from the challenge itself, some from the experts, and mostly from your team members. You'll be surprised how much of what you have studied (in class) is finally used for something useful. In addition, it is an opportunity to develop and to improve communication skills, people skills, and project management skills. - Nam Truong, University of South Florida

RWIW is unlike any other competition I've participated in before. I learned to apply research skills for problem solving by interacting with NASA scientists, use team collaboration and strategies to successfully manage the project under the guidance of a college student leader, use advanced technical skills by working in a 3D virtual environment with the help of an engineering mentor, and finally to present the project creatively to an audience from reputable NASA Centers and universities. RWIW changed the way I think about STEM education and I felt like a real NASA scientist and learned what it takes to work on a real research engineering project. - Karthik Uppaluri, High School Student, NASA INSPIRE Online Learning Community, Mesa, AZ, Team 18

InWorld Presentations 2010-2011

2010-2011 presentations

2011 Guest Speakers:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 8, 3-4 p.m. ET - Keith Parrish, Sunshield Manager
  • Wednesday, Feb. 23, 4-5 p.m. ET - Don McCarthy, NIR CAM Science Team
  • Thursday, Feb. 24, 2-3 p.m. ET - Ray Lundquist, Systems Engineer
  • Tuesday, Mar. 8, 3-4 p.m. ET - Paul Geithner, Observatory Manager
  • Wednesday, Mar. 16, 4-5 p.m. ET - Michelle Thaller, Asst. Dir. - Science Communications
  • Thursday, Mar. 24, 4-5 p.m. ET - Amber Straughn, Astronomer and NASA Post-doctoral Fellow