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New York Center for Astrobiology – 2012 Astrobiology Short Story Contest

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Greetings (younger) fellow astrophiles!

I am pleased to announce that the New York Center for Astrobiology is sponsoring a writing contest for 9th – 12th graders. A brief overview of the contest is below, with the complete list of rules, story proposals, and lots of extraterrestrial parameters included in the linked PDF you can find at:

www.origins.rpi.edu/astrobiologycontestfinalversion.pdf

NOTE: I urge you to have wikipedia open as you read the two plots. Some good explanations and a whole lot of potential inspiration lies within!

This contest is sponsored by the New York Center for Astrobiology, a member of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute program, headquartered at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY. The New York Center for Astrobiology at RPI also involves scientists at the University at Albany (SUNY), Syracuse University, and the University at Arizona. The multi-disciplinary team of scientists from these four institutions is working to better understand the origin and distribution of life on Earth and on other planets in the Galaxy. For more information about the New York Center for Astrobiology, please visit its website at www.origins.rpi.edu

Prizes

> An award ceremony will occur in early May 2012 for students, teachers, and parents with scientists and high school teachers associated with the New York Center for Astrobiology

> $200 for each of the best stories (up to 4 to be selected)

> An interview with the winning authors on WAMC Northeast Public Radio in Albany, NY

About the Contest

> Open to all students in grades 9-12 from Connecticut, New York, and Vermont. Eligible students within that grade-range can be from public schools, private schools, and home schools.

> One entry per student. Entries must be authored by one individual only.

> Entries must have a minimum of 500 words to a maximum of 1600 words. The format must be double-spaced; 12-point font; 1-inch margins. Graphs, images, tables, and citations are optional, and would not count toward the length-limit.

> If sent by mail, entries must be post-marked no later than Friday, March 2, 2012. If sent electronically (pdf and doc files), the entry must be received no later than 5:00 PM EST on Friday, March 2, 2012. Results of the contest will be announced by mid-April 2012.

> Entries will be assessed by a team of (i) high school teachers with expertise in the sciences, literature, and the arts, and (ii) scientists associated with the New York Center for Astrobiology.

The short stories can range from being highly scientific to being fictional. The intent is to select up to two entries per Story Option, in which one may be highly scientific and the other may be highly fictional. In both instances, each would have been judged to be of outstanding quality. The contest-organizers fully recognize that the assessment criteria (described on page 3) will yield disparate scores for these two styles of short story. That range of scores will be calibrated by the team of reviewers.

To Enter

Mail a printout of your entry with the cover sheet to the following address: Prof. John W. Delano; Associate Director, New York Center for Astrobiology; Dept. of Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences; 1400 Washington Avenue; University at Albany; Albany, NY 12222 Alternatively, you can submit your entry as an e-mail attachment (.doc or .pdf) to Prof. John Delano at the following address: jdelano@albany.edu

Questions

For questions about this contest, please contact Professor John Delano by either telephone (518-442-4479) or e-mail (jdelano@albany.edu).

TACNY Sweet Lecture – Forensic Science: Real-Life CSI – Tuesday, February 7

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

A TACNY (Technology Alliance of CNY, of which the SAS is a member organization) Sweet Lecture (not to be directly confused with a sweet TACNY Lecture) is happening on the OCC campus this coming Tuesday (February 7). Information from the TACNY website for “Forensic Science: Real-Life CSI” is provided below.

When: Tuesday, February 7, 2012, at 5:30 pm
Where: Whitney Applied Technology Center Room 101 at Onondaga Community College

Anita Zannin, owner and forensic consultant at AZ Forensic Associates, will present Forensic Science: Real-Life CSI, a talk about forensic science and bloodstain pattern analysis, as part of the the Technology Alliance of Central New York’s 2011-2012 Sweet Lecture Series. The event is also sponsored by the Syracuse section of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

People interested in learning more about forensic science are invited to attend the free Sweet Lecture presentation on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Room 101 of the Whitney Applied Technology Center on the Onondaga Community College campus. Networking starts at 5:30 p.m., the speaker is introduced at 6 p.m., the presentation is slated to run from 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and the event ends at 8 p.m. following questions from the audience. Admission is free and open to the public. Walk-ins are welcome, but we ask that people RSVP by emailing sweet.lecture@tacny.org by Jan. 31, 2012.

Anita Zannin has been an expert witness in state and federal courts, and has worked on criminal and civil cases in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. She recently appeared on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” talking about evidence used in the case of Warren Horinek, a former Fort Worth, Texas, police officer who was found guilty of killing his wife based on the testimony of a bloodstain pattern analysis expert, which others believe to be wrong. Zannin graduated magna cum laude from Buffalo State College with dual bachelors degrees in forensic chemistry and criminal justice. She earned her master’s degree in forensic science from Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences, where she currently is an adjunct professor. She is also a visiting professor at Francisco Marroquin Law School in Guatemala. Zannin earned her certification as a competent forensic expert in bloodstain pattern interpretation from the Institute on the Physical Significance of Human Bloodstain Evidence, which only six people worldwide have earned.

Zannin will discuss the science of forensics and bloodstain pattern analysis, topics that have risen to prominence due to the popularity of television shows such as “CSI.” She will talk about how technology has transformed this field of investigation and share her thoughts on the future of forensic science. Zannin will also discuss some the many cases she has worked on.

To help us plan, please email your RSVP

We look forward to seeing you there – please pass the word!

TACNY Sweet Lecture – Effective Speaking And How To Avoid Death By PowerPoint – Tuesday, November 8

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

A TACNY (Technology Alliance of CNY, of which the SAS is a member organization) Sweet Lecture (not to be directly confused with a sweet TACNY Lecture) is happening on the OCC campus this coming Tuesday (November 8). Information from the TACNY website for “Effective Speaking and How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint” is provided below.

Direct Link: www.tacny.org/home/ctl/viewdetail/mid/1903/itemid/728/d/20111108.aspx


“Effective Speaking and How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint”

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 – 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Mawhinney Hall, Room 345 at Onondaga Community College

Speaker: Diana Wolgemuth, a training consultant with Dale Carnegie in Syracuse, is the featured speaker.

Talk Overview:

The Technology Alliance of Central New York (TACNY) will host an exciting presentation on professional speaking techniques as part of TACNY’s 2011-2012 Sweet Lecture Series. “Effective Speaking and How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint” is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 6 pm. Diana Wolgemuth, a training consultant with Dale Carnegie in Syracuse, is the featured speaker. The event will be held at Mawhinney Hall, Room 345 at Onondaga Community College.

This free event is open to the public and is part of TACNY’s Sweet Lecture Series. Ms. Wolgemuth has been a training consultant locally for several years. Prior to her tenure with Dale Carnegie, she was the Learning and Development Manager at Hand Held Products (known today as Honeywell) in Skaneateles for seven years. Her presentation will include:

– Steps for Preparing Your Presentation
– How to Read Your Audience and Keep Them Engaged
– Best Practices for Using Power Point.

This lecture will certainly benefit anyone that needs to step in front of an audience in a professional setting.

Snacks and light refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP to sweet.lecture@tacny.org. Walk-ins are also welcome.

We look forward to seeing you there – please pass the word!

www.tacny.org/home/ctl/viewdetail/mid/1903/itemid/728/d/20111108.aspx

TACNY Junior Café Scientifique – “Creepy Chemistry” – Saturday, October 15, 9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

With a bit more advanced notice than the last lecture, TACNY is hosting a Junior Café Scientifique lecture at the MOST this Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. Information is below. The SAS will also be hosting one of these lectures on May 19, 2012!


Creepy Chemistry: Glowing Pumpkins, Magical Genies, Mysterious Fog and Much More!

Saturday, October 15, 2011 – 9:30a.m. – 11:00a.m.

Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST), Armory Square Syracuse, New York

Speaker: Neal M. Abrams, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Talk Overview: Ready to be spooked out of your seat? Join the TACNY Jr. Café on October 15th to see the chemistry behind glowing pumpkins, magical genies, bleeding paper, and mysterious fog. Dr. Neal Abrams from SUNY ESF will present a series of interactive Halloween chemistry demonstrations that will be sure to delight young and old alike. Come make your own slimy worms and celebrate the season!

Biography: Dr. Neal Abrams obtained his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and certification in teaching from Ithaca College, completed his doctorate at Penn State University, and was a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University. At ESF, Neal instructs the general chemistry labs and co-teaches a course in renewable energy. He also directs a chemistry research program centered on renewable energy and is the faculty advisor for the ESF chemistry club.

About the Technology Alliance of Central New York (“TACNY”):

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the Technology Alliance of Central New York enhances and facilitates the development, growth and advancement of education, awareness and historical appreciation of technology within the Central New York Community. Through its programs and support efforts, TACNY seeks to further serve members, as well as educational groups and institutions with similar missions, and be the key link among technical societies in Central New York.

TACNY Jr. Café Scientifique, founded in 2005, is free, held most 3rd Saturdays, from September to June from 9:30a.m. – 11:00a.m. at the MOST. Participants must be accompanied by an adult and can explore the museum at no cost at the program conclusion.

Reservations are appreciated but not required two days prior to event:

Diane E. Darwish at jrcafe@tacny.org – www.tacny.org

TACNY Sweet Lecture At OCC On Nanotechnology – TODAY – Tuesday, October 11 at 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

While not directly astronomy-related (unless you consider the materials science and physics connections for making better coatings, components, circuitry for GO-TO scopes, etc.), we will be posting lecture announcements from the TACNY – Technology Alliance of Central New York (tacny.org) – listserve to promote some of the best public lecturing on science and technology one can find in CNY. This lecture (and apologies for the short-notice) at the Whitney Applied Technology Center on the Onondaga Community College campus (PDF map available for download HERE – look for the Cassiopeia, er, “W” on the map) features Dr. Alain Kaloyeros of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at SUNY Albany. One can get a look at his perspective on a syracuse.com article available HERE (and, as is regretfully the case on some syracuse.com posts, please ignore the comment section).


Nanotechnology: Driving a 21st Century Educational and Economic Renaissance in NYS

TACNY and the Tech Garden will host “Nanotechnology: Driving a 21st Century Educational and Economic Renaissance in NYS” on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 6 pm at the Whitney Applied Technology Center at OCC. The featured speaker is Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, Senior Vice President and CEO, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany-SUNY.

This free event is open to the public and is part of TACNY’s Sweet Lecture Series.

Dr. Kaloyeros is a key player in the development and implementation of New York’s high-tech strategy to become a global leader in the nanotechnology-driven economy of the 21st century. CNSE has generated over $7 billion in public and private investments, including more than $6 billion from the federal government and the international nanoelectronics industry. Dr. Kaloyeros will provide an overview of nanotechnology and will describe regional initiatives, including CNSE’s partnership with Lockheed Martin and CenterState CEO to develop the Nanotechnology Innovation and Commercialization Excelerator (NICE).

Dr. Kaloyeros is a past recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award, as well as a number of other awards from organizations throughout the technology and business communities.

Snacks and light refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP to sweet.lecture@tacny.org. Walk-ins are also welcome.

We look forward to seeing you there – please pass the word!