For millennia, people looked to the stars as a source of awe and inspiration. Today, new ventures between private industry and government agencies like NASA have reignited our sense of wonder, prompting many to ask not only when humans will finally reach Mars, but what careers and businesses are experiencing the greatest growth and how ordinary people and science professionals can get involved.
Join TEDxFSCJ as we partner with the Museum of Science & History, Jacksonville (MOSH) in hosting a salon focused on how Florida and the First Coast are accelerating the pace of space exploration. The evening’s speakers will include NASA — National Aeronautics and Space Administration engineer Kathleen O'Brady, Lockheed Martin engineer Chelsea Partridge, Professor of Astronomy Mike Reynolds, science advocate Taylor Richardson (Astronaut StarBright), and host Jenn Ruliffson, a student at the University of North Florida. At the close of the evening, attendees will have the opportunity to look through telescopes positioned atop the museum roof—courtesy of JAX #popscope: Public Astronomy Nights, the local affiliate of #popscope, an urban movement of astronomers who host free, “pop-up” events across North America.
The salon will be held Thursday, December 7, at the MOSH Planetarium, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Kathleen is Lead Certification System Engineer for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program in which she oversees the certification of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner, a spacecraft for transporting crew to and from the International Space Station. Kathleen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a master’s degree in physics from the University of Central Florida. Kathleen considers herself fortunate to have supported the space shuttle program from 2004 until its retirement in 2011.
Chelsea is an engineer for Lockheed Martin Space Systems at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, where she conducts environmental control and life support systems testing on the agency's Orion spacecraft. Chelsea graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of North Florida where she conceptualized CubeSat applications for bone density research. A lifelong advocate for space exploration and science education, Chelsea advises gifted students at The Weiss School, who are currently building a CubeSat of their own.
Mike is a Professor of Astronomy and Physics at Florida State College at Jacksonville and the Executive Director Emeritus of the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California. His 40-year career runs the gamut from high school and university instructor to planetarium and museum director, researcher, and college administrator. Mike is the recipient of several awards, including the 1986 Florida State Teacher of the Year, NASA Teacher-in- Space National Finalist, and the G. Bruce Blair Medal in Astronomy.
Taylor is a 14-year-old student at The Bolles School in Jacksonville and an accomplished science advocate. Inspired by Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, she launched a book drive, entitled Taylor’s Take Flight with a Book, and has read to over 300 children and collected over 5,000 books. After attending a private screening of Hidden Figures with First Lady Michelle Obama, Taylor helped sponsor screenings across several U.S. states; in April 2017, she addressed the March for Science rally in Washington, DC; and she is a student space ambassador for The Mars Generation. #Astronaut StarBright
Jenn is a NASA Solar System Ambassador and has hosted several events centered on space and space exploration. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree in 2010 and began a career in non-profit arts management. Her passion for space exploration proved so persistent that she quit her full-time job in 2016 to study chemistry at the University of North Florida. Jenn hopes to pursue research at NASA and is currently a research assistant in atmospheric chemistry.