The Occupy Mars Learning Adventure

Training Jr. Astronauts, Scientists & Engineers

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Meet Our New Jr. Astronaut Advisor: Ed Dwight

Ed Dwight 2019.jpeg

About Ed Dwight

The Barboza Space Center has just started working with Ed. Dwight.

A man whose resume reads: former Air Force Test Pilot, America’s First African American Astronaut Candidate, IBM Computer Systems Engineer, Aviation Consultant, Restaurateur, Real Estate Developer, and Construction Entrepreneur can best be described as a true renaissance man. Ed Dwight has succeeded in all these varied careers. However, for the last 40 years, Ed has focused his direction on the Fine Arts- Gallery Paintings & Sculptures, Large-scale Memorials, and Public Art projects. Since his art career began in 1978, after attaining his MFA in Sculpture from the University of Denver, Dwight has become one of the most prolific and insightful sculptors in America.

Born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, Ed left in 1953 to join the U.S. Air Force. After completing pilot training, he served as a military fighter pilot and obtained a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Arizona State University. In 1961 Dwight was chosen by President John F. Kennedy to enter training as an Experimental Test Pilot in preparation to become the first African American Astronaut.  Ed completed the Experimental Test Pilot course and entered Aerospace Research Pilot training, in preparation for Astronaut duties. He successfully completed the course and continued on to perform duties as a fully qualified Aerospace Research Pilot. Three years after the death of President Kennedy, Ed left the military and entered private life

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Young protestors around the globe demand climate change action

Kids Talk Radio Science will join the fight with world youth.  

 Young protesters around globe demand climate change action


Published: Friday, September 20th, 2019 at 10:39am

Updated: Friday, September 20th, 2019 at 10:49am

Climate protesters demonstrate in London, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Protesters around the world joined rallies on Friday as a day of worldwide demonstrations calling for action against climate change began ahead of a U.N. summit in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

DEVELOPING… Story will be updated as new information can be verified. Updated 3 times

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BERLIN — A wave of climate change protests swept across the globe Friday, with hundreds of thousands of young people sending a message to leaders headed for a U.N. summit: The warming world can’t wait for action.

Marches, rallies and demonstrations were held from Canberra to Kabul and Cape Town to Copenhagen, and more were set to follow as the day went on.

The Global Climate Strike” events ranged from a gathering of about two dozen activists in Seoul using LED flashlights to send Morse code messages calling for action to rescue the earth to demonstrations around Australia that organizers estimated were the country’s largest protests since the Iraq War in 2003.

“Even though we ourselves aren’t sick, the planet which we live on is, and we are protesting and fighting for it,” said Siobhan Sutton, a 15-year-old student at Perth Modern School.

The protests were partly inspired by the activism of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who has staged weekly demonstrations under the heading “Fridays for Future” over the past year, calling on world leaders to step up their efforts against climate change.

“It’s such a victory,” Thunberg said in an interview Friday with The Associated Press in New York. “I would never have predicted or believed that this was going to happen, and so fast — and only in 15 months.”

Thunberg is expected to participate in a U.N. Youth Climate Summit on Saturday and speak at the U.N. Climate Action Summit with global leaders on Monday.

“They have this opportunity to do something, and they should take that,” she said in the interview. “And otherwise, they should feel ashamed.”

The world has warmed about 1 degree Celsius (1.8 Fahrenheit) since before the Industrial Revolution, and scientists have attributed more than 90 percent of the increase to emissions of heat-trapping gases from fuel-burning and other human activity.

Scientists have warned that global warming will subject Earth to rising seas and more heat waves, droughts, powerful storms, flooding and other problems, and that some have already started manifesting themselves.

Nations around the world agreed at a 2015 summit in Paris to hold warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) more than pre-industrial-era levels by the end of this century.


However, U.S. President Donald Trump subsequently announced that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the agreement, which he said benefited other nations at the expense of American businesses and taxpayers.

Trump referred to global warming as a “hoax” before becoming president. He has since said he’s “not denying climate change” but is not convinced it’s manmade or permanent.

The U.N. summit is aimed at eliciting concrete proposals from various countries to make progress toward the Paris goal.

Friday’s demonstrations started in Australia, where organizers estimated 300,000 protesters marched in 110 towns and cities, including Sydney and the national capital, Canberra. Demonstrators called for their country, the world’s largest exporter of coal and liquid natural gas, to take more drastic action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Hundreds of rallies took place across Europe, including in the Czech Republic, Germany, Britain and Poland, which is still widely coal-reliant and where many middle schools gave students the day off to enable them to participate in the rallies in Warsaw and other cities.

In Berlin, police said more than 100,000 people gathered in front of the capital’s landmark Brandenburg Gate, not far from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s, office where the Cabinet thrashed out the final details of a 54 billion euro ($60 billion) plan to curb Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions .

Thousands of schoolchildren and their adult supporters demonstrated in London outside the British Parliament, some holding home-made placards with slogans including “Don’t be a fossil fool” and “Make our planet Greta again,” in a reference Thunberg.

The British government said it endorsed the protesters’ message but didn’t condone skipping school — a stance that didn’t sit well with some of the young protesters.


“If politicians were taking the appropriate action we need and had been taking this action a long time ago when it was recognized the world was changing in a negative way, then I would not have to be skipping school,” said Jessica Ahmed, a 16-year-old London student.

In Helsinki, the Finnish capital, a man dressed as Santa Claus stood outside parliament holding a sign: “My house is on fire, my reindeer can’t swim.”

Smaller protests took place in Asia, including in Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Hong Kong and India.

“We need to reclaim our constitutional right to clean air and water,” said Aman Sharma, a 16-year-old protester in India’s capital of New Delhi.

In Tokyo, hundreds of students and environmental activists marched through the business and shopping district of Shibuya, chanting “Climate Justice!” while holding hand-painted placards with messages such as “Go Green” and “Save the Earth.”

Smaller rallies were held in more than a dozen other cities around Japan, including Kyoto, the nation’s ancient capital that hosted the 1997 climate conference.

And in the Afghan capital, Kabul, an armored personnel carrier was deployed to protect about 100 young people as they marched, led by a group of several young women carrying a banner emblazoned with “Fridays for Future.”

Fardeen Barakzai, one of the organizers and head of the local climate activist group, Oxygen, said Afghan youths “know the problem of climate change. We know war can kill a group of people. … The problem in Afghanistan is our leaders are fighting for power, but the real power is in nature.”


In Africa, rallies were held in Johannesburg and the South African capital, Pretoria, as well as Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, where some young protesters wore hats and outfits made from plastic bottles to emphasize the dangers of plastic waste, a major threat to cities and oceans.

Climate change “is worse than homework,” one sign proclaimed.

Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change and the least equipped to deal with it, experts have said. Governments have pleaded for more support from the international community.

More rallies were planned later Friday in the United States, where organizers say more than 800 events were expected.


McGuirk reported from Canberra, Australia. Associated Press reporters around the world contributed to this report.


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Astronaut Training in High School

Training High School Astronaut Tiger Teams for Mars Missions

Eleven female students attending McBride High School in Long Beach Unified School District took up the challenge of becoming fellows in the Occupy Mars Learning Adventures program offered by the Barboza Space Center.

Due to the STEM focus of McBride High School, students have become familiar with a wide and impressive range of 3D printers, computer numerical control (CNC) machines, powerful computers, computer-assisted design (CAD) software, computer aided engineering (CAE) software and new robotic tools that are updated often. Students familiar with such equipment are often hungry for opportunities to apply their knowledge in creative ways.

Members of the NASA Tiger Team pose for a quick picture

The Occupy Mars Learning Adventures is an astronaut preparation program that involves academically and linguistically diverse students in working together on simulated NASA Tiger Teams to solve challenges that are faced by NASA and private space companies attempting to travel to and live on Mars. During the week of July 22nd through July 26th, the Barboza Space Center delivered an individualized space science program curriculum designed for young women who want to become engineers, scientists, and astronauts. We integrated Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards into unique project-based learning experiences that drew on science, technology, engineering, mathematics, arts, design, World and computer languages (STEAMD++).

The Barboza Space Center creates simulations of training for astronauts interested in working on Earth and Mars. An important goal is to offer space science fellowships to promising high school students, 10% of whom are students with special needs. The Center provides uniforms, STEAMD++ materials, books, individualized astronaut tool kits, and project lesson plans. Training materials integrate content from Advanced Placement textbooks and NASA manuals.

Under the tutelage of K-12 educators and professional engineers, participants apply what they have learned to design satellites, robots, science probes, Martian habitats, and rocket payloads.

To measure content learned during the Fellowship week, all students completed Tiger Team pre- and post-testing. In addition, each developed a portfolio including two PowerPoint presentations and an audio podcast related to Mars to be posted to Kids Talk Radio Science. These products contrasted in striking ways from pre-test responses to questions about the planet Mars—a subject about which students originally knew very little. Students demonstrated that they could reverse engineer and reconstruct a rolling Mars rover robot. Their eye-motor coordination was assessed throughout the five days of our program, and results were recorded, along with project notes, in individual lab notebooks begun by students in a previous Fellowship. Students were expected to use legible handwriting and to communicate using Morse code—important skills in the event of a communications emergency.

Our space science Fellowships are designed to inspire students to learn and apply new knowledge, to continue to follow their passion through and beyond post-secondary school, and to understand the critical importance of working collectively. By functioning as Tiger Team members, they trained their knowledge and skills on the tremendous challenges of reaching and building a community on Mars. In doing so, many discovered entirely new areas of interest, and all developed a hunger for more opportunities to explore and create in the future.

To listen to the podcasts created at Super School University as part of the new international STEM and STEAM project-based learning opportunities, check out the links below.

Kids Talk Radio China

Kids Talk Radio Russia

Kids Talk Radio Australia

Kids Talk Radio Cabo Verde 2

Bob Barboza is an educator, STEM Journalist and the founder of Super School International University and the Barboza Space Center for Science and Engineering Prototyping. As Director of the Barboza Space Center, Bob is excited to get students around the world excited about working together and  studying STEM and STEAM project-based learning as they pursue careers in the aerospace industry.