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March 22, 2022 - 5:35pm
posted by Press Release in BOCES, Culinary Arts, NASA, cooking, food.
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Press release:

The Culinary Arts students from the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center who competed in the national Culinary Arts Challenge for the National NASA HUNCH Program have made to the top ten and now advance to the next round of competition.  Their menus items received top scores from the local judges!

The winning recipes are:

  • Entrée: Shrimp fajitas with red lentil tortillas, creamy avocado sauce served with a side of cilantro lime cauliflower rice.
  • Dessert:  Mexican chocolate brownie

In early April, this team and their instructor will travel to Texas for the next round of competition, which will be held at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.  

If selected, their entrée and dessert will be produced at Johnson Space Lab and sent to the International Space Station for astronauts to enjoy.

March 1, 2019 - 12:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NASA, news, BOCES, batavia, Mount Morris, food, Culinary Arts.


Students of the culinary program at Batavia CTE on Thursday presented dishes they created with the goal of cooking up something suitable for astronauts in space to a panel of judges to see if their creations might be worthy of a nationwide competition in Houston later this year.

Six students, three from Batavia and three from Mount Morris, prepared two dishes -- asparagus "fries" from Batavia and berry quinoa salad.

The dishes were scored on presentation, nutritional value and taste. The final dishes will also need to be suitable for freeze-drying to take into space.

Travis Barlow, Kevin Balkota, John Steward, Danielle Rotondo, Patrick Rae, and Darly Pochan.

Nancy Hall from NASA was also on hand to observe and advise during the competition.

There is no winner from yesterday. Both teams will have their scores presented to a panel who will select 10 teams from entries from around the nation to travel to Houston for the final competition.

Students from Batavia were Melissa Voltura, Jose Vanegas and Jason Lowe. Students from Mount Morris were Sam Meyers, Tony Uveino and Mackenzie Wheeler.







January 9, 2019 - 10:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, schools, education, NASA, news, notify.

Pembroke students Tuesday had a lot of questions for Astronaut David Saint-Jacques about being a space pioneer and life aboard the International Space Station.

Sixteen students were selected to ask questions and participating the planning of the event and today it all came together after months of preparation -- going back to April of last year -- during an assembly in the school's auditorium.

Saint-Jacques answered questions about what it was like to be in space, how his life inside the space station, what surprised him about going into space, and whether it was fun, along with addressing other topics.

Melissa Smith, a 7th and 8th-grade science teacher, took the lead on setting up the event and said it was a great opportunity to expose the students to things they may not otherwise get to do as part of their school experience. They learned about shortwave radio, the space station, about astronauts and they worked with members of the community to help bring it all together.

"We want to make a relatable experience for them so this was really cool because this isn't something we would necessarily teach in our curriculum, in our class, so it was a way we could go above and beyond what students normally learn," Smith said.

In all, 16 students were selected to ask questions during the eight or nine minutes the station was in position to connect via shortwave with a transmitter.

The ARISS event was managed by an international consortium of amateur radio organizations and space agencies including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium at SUNY Buffalo State, and members of the Genesee County Radio Amateurs (GRAM) Club.  Pamela Ware, from Corfu, and member of GRAM, holds an FCC amateur extra license and was the liaison for the team of radio operators who provided hands-on training and experience for Pembroke students. 

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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