Ogle Center brings nationally recognized space science program to area students

9th November 2017

NEW ALBANY, Ind. — An award-winning, nationally recognized program in space science is coming to the IU Southeast Ogle Center, thanks to a generous grant from the Duke Energy Foundation. The grant supports special programming in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) for the 2017-2018 season.

As part of the Ogle Center’s Duke Energy Children & Family Series, area students are invited to attend one of four performances of “Janet’s Planet” on November 15 and 16 and to participate in a video classroom conversation with four-time Space Shuttle astronaut Wendy Barrien Lawrence on November 9. The series is free to students, families, and teachers, but registration is required.

“We are honored to bring STEM educational performances of the highest caliber to Southern Indiana students through the generosity of the Duke Energy Foundation,” said Kirk Randolph, Director of the Ogle Center. “School administrators have been asking us for more STEM programming, and we’ve been able to deliver on that, thanks to Duke Energy.”

“Janet’s Planet” — based on the educational television show that airs on 144 public television stations nationwide — is a cross-platform, 21st-century space-science series designed to fuel STEM learning and unlock potential in students. Janet Ivey, series creator and star, is a Buzz Aldrin ShareScience ambassador, the winner of 12 regional Emmy and five Gracie Allen awards, a member of the National Space Society Board of Governors, and a NASA educational outreach collaborator for the New Horizon mission to Pluto.

In conjunction with her visit to Southern Indiana, Ivey will also facilitate a classroom conversation via video conference with astronaut Wendy Barrien Lawrence for all schools, homeschools, groups, and individuals attending her show. Lawrence will make a brief presentation, and then students will be invited to ask questions using Zoom meeting and Chat technologies.

Lawrence, a retired United States Navy Captain, former helicopter pilot, engineer, and former NASA astronaut, was the first female graduate of the United States Naval Academy to fly into space and has visited the Russian Space Station Mir. She was a mission specialist on STS-114, the first Space Shuttle flight after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

The Ogle Center’s Duke Energy Children & Family Series will continue in 2018 with Dr. Kaboom’s “Live Wire! The Electricity Tour” on January 8, 9, and 10. Commissioned by the Kennedy Center, this dramatic, interactive show explores the nature of electricity. With Tesla coils, Van de Graaff generators, and a ping-pong shooting robot, Doktor Kaboom explains everything from voltage and current to charges, conservation of energy, and plasma. Through the character of Doktor Kaboom, an over-the-top German physicist with a passion for science, actor and improv comedian David Epley advances understanding of scientific principles and demonstrates that science is for everyone.

Earlier this season, the series featured two other award-winning STEM performances. “Pirate School: The Science of Pirates!” guided students through simple concepts from the Next Generation Science Standards while taking them on a swashbuckling adventure, and “Dr. Insecta’s Incredible, Unforgettable Bug Lab Experience” introduced students to some of the largest live insects on the planet — entertaining, educating, and desensitizing fears along the way.

The Ogle Center’s Children & Family Series brings high-quality educational and cultural programming to K-12 students in Southern Indiana at no cost to families or schools through generous support from the Duke Energy Foundation, the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County, and the Harrison County Community Foundation, as well as individual donors. Since its inception in 1996, the series has served more than 190,000 K-12 students, parents, and teachers with nationally and regionally recognized educational and arts programming.

To register for “Janet’s Planet” or Dr. Kaboom’s “Live Wire! The Electricity Tour,” please complete a reservation form online at oglecenter.com.

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of the communities where its customers live and work. The Foundation annually provides more than $30 million in charitable grants, with a focus on three areas: K to career, the environment and community impact. Its philanthropic investments in education span the kindergarten-to-career spectrum and are central to its charitable investments. It believes that by fostering an interest in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields for students, its communities will continue growing and producing skilled workers who bring new thinking and innovation to our lives.

Indiana University Southeast is one of seven campuses of Indiana University. Offering more than 100 degree programs and concentrations, the scenic 180-acre campus is located less than 15 minutes from downtown Louisville, Kentucky. As a public comprehensive university, IU Southeast prepares graduates for productive citizenship in a diverse society, and it contributes to the intellectual, cultural, civic and economic development of the region. It currently has an enrollment of more than 6,000 students and employs more than 400 faculty members. About 400 students now live on campus in five fully furnished, lodge-style residence halls. For more information, visit www.ius.edu. IU Southeast is a tobacco-free campus.

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