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07-13-2015

Clarkson University Research Professor Dana Barry Continues Mars/Space Education Program

Clarkson University Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Research Professor Dana M. Barry, senior technical writer/editor at Clarkson’s Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP), has expanded and carried out a Mars/ Space Education program for more than 16 years.

Dana M. BarryToday, Barry continues her program in the United States and overseas with students of all ages, from youngsters to retired members of SOAR (Stimulating Opportunities after Retirement).

She recently developed a creative teaching method known as the Space-Related/Space Exploration Teaching Approach. It is described in her new book, coauthored with Deputy President Professor Hideyuki Kanematsu of the National Institute of Technology, Suzuka College, Japan. The book, STEM and ICT Education in Intelligent Environments, is being published by Springer and should be available in August.

Barry says that she is very grateful to Clarkson for hosting her three World First Space Education Missions. These missions were made possible by a combined effort of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Space Explorers Inc., whom she said she also offers thanks to.

Space Explorers Inc. is committed to bringing the excitement and challenges of space exploration into classrooms worldwide. Space Explorers promotes discovery, inquiry, and analysis by offering standards-based curricula, mission simulations, and experiments that incorporate actual NASA data. Through these Internet-based programs, the company strives to inspire a new generation of explorers to pursue careers in science, math, and technology.

Clarkson was the site of the world’s first MoonLink mission held on January 20, 1998. The mission was sponsored by Clarkson’s Space Grant Program, directed by Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering Professor Daniel Valentine and coordinated by Barry, who served as the Clarkson Space Grant Program Administrator. MoonLink is an educational outreach program with NASA’s Lunar Prospector mission and Space Explorers Inc. It linked students via the Internet with NASA’s Lunar Prospector (a spacecraft launched to conduct a one year mapping mission to obtain data about the Moon’s surface).

Also with support from the Clarkson Space Grant program, Barry organized the World’s First NEARLink mission, which took place at Clarkson University on November 18, 1998. NEARLink is the educational component of NASA’s Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission. Once again students were linked by Internet to the spacecraft NEAR.

Participating schools in the MoonLink and NEARLink missions were Clarkson University, Canton Central, Potsdam Central, Edwards-Knox Central, and Norwood-Norfolk Central schools. The students communicated by conference phone with a mission controller and received and analyzed live data from the spacecraft. They also learned about mission positions and duties, instruments, and a teamwork approach for solving problems.

In 2000, Barry organized the world’s first MarsLink mission which once again took place at Clarkson University. This mission, which was carried out like the other two, was sponsored by the Northern New York Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The participants, which included St. Mary’s School in Canton, N.Y., as well as the other schools, accessed and analyzed the incoming data from Mars, as part of the Mars Global Surveyor mission. Ever since this mission, Barry has expanded her team to the international level and continues to participate in other Mars and space- related missions and activities.

In 2001, she spoke about Mars and space exploration to an audience of students, instructors, and government officials at the National Planetarium in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. While there she recruited students and faculty to join her MarsLink mission team. At a later date she visited the University of the Sciences in Malaysia to join her team members for star gazing activities and observations of the planets using telescopes equipped with cameras. The coordinator for the Malaysian team members has been Professor Dr. Roger Haw, cofounder of Ansted University.

Barry, in the capacity of a visiting professor at the National Institute of Technology, Suzuka College, Japan, was invited there in 2002 to speak about her Mars and other space mission activities. As a result, faculty and students joined her MarsLink team. The coordinator for team members in Japan has been Deputy President Professor Hideyuki Kanematsu (of the National Institute of Technology, Suzuka College, Japan). Together Kanematsu and Barry have carried out space-related workshops and Mars Simulation Missions at various places in Japan over the years. Also their teams (U.S. and Japan) participated in NASA’s Lunar Greenhouse Engineering Design Project and in an education project involving the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Barry’s MarsLink Space mission project won a certificate of excellence (ChemPower Award) in 2004 from the American Chemical Society (ACS). Barry and her team members have their names on the rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which were sent in search of geologic evidence of water in Mars past. She also has her name on the rover Curiosity and on MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN spacecraft).

Details on Barry's MarsLink Mission activities on a yearly basis (2000-2015) are at http://www.space-explorers.com/internal/events/clarkson2015.html . Each year's website contains a link to the year before it.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/dbarry-space.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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