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September 22, 2017 - 5:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, St. Joe's, NASA, Announcements, batavia.

Submitted photo and press release:

Mrs. Fischer’s fourth-grade class was visited by Mr. Penepent, an aeronautical engineer who has worked at NASA's launch site in Cape Canaveral, Fla., for 27 years.

His team works to launch Delta II and IV rockets for NASA. The students came up with some great interview questions and learned some awesome things about the design process, construction and launching of these rockets.

Mr. Penepent attended St. Joseph School from kindergarten through second grade and is Mrs. Fischer’s older brother.

He said he first became interested in his field of aeronautical engineering when he was in third grade while reading a book on airplanes. Who knows, there may be future aeronautical engineers right here at St. Joe’s. 

August 11, 2017 - 1:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, NASA, richmond library, solar eclipse.
Submitted photo: Ronnie Scroger, age 6, and his mother, Tracey Cook, join library employees Marie Barcomb and Bob Conrad to model the safety glasses that will be available at Richmond Library programs Aug. 14 to 21.
Press release:
Due to heavy regional interest, the Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia will begin distribution of a limited supply of solar eclipse-viewing safety glasses at library eclipse-themed family programs already scheduled for Aug. 14th, 16th, and 18th.
The remainder of glasses will be distributed on a first-come basis at an eclipse-viewing lawn party hosted by the library on the afternoon of Aug. 21, after a brief safety demonstration.
"We got a thousand pairs of these glasses from NASA," Library Director Bob Conrad explained. "But under the terms of their grant, we can only distribute them after a safety demonstration that's a part of our summer reading program.
"Originally, those demonstrations were all going to be on the afternoon of August 21st, during the eclipse. But we're getting so many calls from people who don't live here or who are traveling for the eclipse, that we decided to start distribution early by including the safety demo at all of next week's family programs."

Those programs include a library craft project at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 14th ("Make a Sun Magnet"); a cooking program at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 16th ("Make and Eat Your Own Moon Pies"); and a movie to be screened at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 21st (the 2015 animated DreamWorks feature "Home").

"I guess we couldn't afford the rights to 'Space Jam,' " Conrad joked.

The programs are billed For All Ages, but registration is recommended to guarantee a space. Register on the library's website at batavialibrary.org, or by calling the Children's Room at 343-9550.

According to an interactive map published by NASA's educational outreach website (eclipse2017.nasa.gov/libraries), Batavia's public library is the only one in a five-county region surrounding Buffalo to participate in the educational program, along with libraries in the Rochester area, Jamestown and Geneseo.

May 10, 2017 - 12:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, NASA, schools, education, news, batavia.

Getting to work on parts that NASA will actually use on the International Space Station is definitely something to brag about, said Dominick Brown, a senior at Batavia High School (at right, in photo above) and a student in BOCES precision machinery program.

Brown and about a dozen other students are part of a program begun this year at BOCES by teacher Tim Gleba, who persisted in his pursuit last year to get Batavia's machine shop course accepted into NASA's HUNCH program. HUNCH is a nationwide program started in 2003 that gives high school students the chance to design and manufacture hardware for NASA. The program has since expanded to include culinary arts as well so that students can come up with ready-to-eat meals for astronauts.

Students have made single-purpose storage lockers to hold experiments being taken up to the space station and one of the next projects is new handrails.

Brown's reaction was like a lot of students in a video presented by NASA scientist Florance Gold, Ph.D, yesterday at a press conference about the program in Batavia. The students all said the program inspired them to think about engineering, science and aerospace careers and gave them the confidence to think it might be something they could pursue.

"It’s really awesome that we actually get to work for NASA and it’s something I can put on my resume," Brown said. "I’m always bragging to my friends, ‘OK, I work for NASA now.’ It’s kind of cool. I’m definitely very grateful for everything my teachers and NASA have presented to me to be part of this amazing program. I’m crazy grateful. Unlike test hardware, we’re making actual hardware that is going into the space station, so it’s something that I can say, ‘I made parts that are in the space station.’ ”


Tim Gleba with the first part his precision machine students made for NASA.



NASA scientist Flo Gold


Nancy Hall, an aerospace engineer with NASA, who works at the Glenn Research Center in Ohio.

A couple of weeks ago, BOCES students were able to visit the facility. Hall said it's special getting to work for NASA.

“One thing I want to pass onto the students is think about the opportunity you have in front of you," Hall said. "You’re going to be making parts for NASA, which is just neat in itself. Even myself, working for NASA, I still pinch myself."


Amanda Phelps, a HUNCH support machinist with one of the storage lockers designed and made by high school students.


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