AstroJam: Mission to the Future!

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AstroJam: Mission to the Future event last weekend was all about showcasing the links between science, technology, and imagination. Some of the science and technology imagined in science fiction stories – hover crafts, smart robots, and bionic limbs – have started to become reality. Visitors to AstroJam were taken on a “mission to the future,” learning about technology, experimenting with hands-on activities, and imagining what the next innovation might be. This year we had even more partners from the community involved in the event – WB Engineering brought 3D printers to demonstrate in the Museum’s Best Buy Teen Tech Center… members of the New World Symphony performed under the stars in the planetarium… Southern Cross Astronomical Society and the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association brought telescopes to observe Venus and the Sun (safely)… FIRST Robotics Competition brought several student teams from around Miami to showcase robots they had built… Florida International University (FIU) Engineering Department brought a prototype robot called the ERB (Emergency Response Bot)… we held a screening of the brand new documentary One Way Astronaut, and we had a “Cosmic Quest” lineup of interactive hands-on activities. No one needed to go home empty-handed either – we raffled off a Celestron telescope and a $500 gift card for 3D printing with WB Engineering, and everyone who completed the Cosmic Quest earned a prize! Of course AstroJam continued after-dark, with a “Science of Star Trek” presentation by Dr. James Webb of FIU, laser planetarium shows, film screenings of experimental, science, and science fiction films with Barron Scherer, and rooftop observatory viewing. Who wouldn’t be inspired?

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Student Teams with their impressive robot creations, with the FIRST Robotics Competition

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3D printing with WB Engineering (who also provided a $500 gift card for a raffle prize)

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Observing with Southern Cross Astronomical Society and the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association

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The New World Symphony performing under the stars in the planetarium

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Navigating the ERB with the FIU Engineering Department

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Designing and building your own Mars Rover

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