Meet a NASA Astronaut at WonderWorks, As Science & Space Fans Enjoy an Intergalactic Weekend

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NASA Exhibit

WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee has planned a temporary exhibit that is out of this world, and everyone is invited to blast off with it.

The indoor park that combines amusement and educational opportunities is hosting a NASA exhibit from October 5-8, 2017 that will focus on the amazing world of science and the planets. The exhibit will feature scaled models of spacecraft and a virtual reality experience of NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System. There will also be artifacts such as a real moon rock that people can touch, and a meet and greet with former space shuttle astronaut Captain Robert “Hoot” Gibson. The fun and educational exhibit is slated to help further interest in STEM education and careers and is ideal for all ages.

“This is such an exciting exhibit for people and we are thrilled to be hosting it,” states Ed Shaffer, General Manager for WonderWorks. “Being able to meet a real astronaut and touch a moon rock is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one that you don’t want to miss.”

astronaut Captain Robert “Hoot” Gibson
Former Astronaut-Captain Robert “Hoot” Gibson

The NASA exhibit will kick off with Captain Gibson visiting local middle schools to speak to students about his experience being in space. He will be at WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge on Saturday, October 7, 2017. Meet and greet opportunities are from 11 a.m. to noon, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., and from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., where he will answer questions, pose for photos, and give autographs. Media interviews will also be available.

The NASA exhibit will feature:
• The Exploration Systems virtual tour allows participants to experience the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft up close as they sit on the mobile launcher at Kennedy Space Center. Users will be transported to Launchpad 39B where they will receive a brief overview of the different components that make up the most powerful rocket ever built, the SLS. Once the overview is complete, they will then be placed inside an Orion Spacecraft virtual environment prior to launch.
• Guest will be able to take and print a photo of themselves in a spacesuit with either an SLS, Orion, Mars rover, or International Space Station background. This is a one-of-a-kind keepsake!
• Space Launch System 1:50 scale model on a mobile launcher and a 1:20 scale Orion Spacecraft table top model.
• Touchable moon rock from the Apollo 17 mission.

“We are ready to grow interest in space explorations,” added Shaffer. “There will be plenty of opportunities for pictures, asking questions, and observing, making it an amazing experience for all.”

Capt. Robert “Hoot” Gibson served as a NASA astronaut from 1979 until 1996 and is a veteran of five space shuttle flights. He has logged more than 36 days in space, including having commanded the first docking of the space shuttle to the Russian space station Mir. He is also a graduate of the TOPGUN Navy Fighter Weapons School.

WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge offers 35,000 square feet of “edu-tainment” opportunities, billing itself as an amusement park for the mind. They offer over 100 hands-on exhibits covering natural disasters, space discovery, an imagination lab, a physical challenge zone, a far out art gallery, and a light and sound zone. WonderWorks is open daily from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. For more information or to register for the event, log onto their site: wonderworksonline.com/pigeon-forge/nasa-journey-mars/.

About WonderWorks
WonderWorks, a science focused indoor amusement park, combines education and entertainment. With over 100 hands-on exhibits – there is something unique and challenging for all ages. Feel the power of 71mph hurricane–force winds in the Hurricane Shack. Make huge, life–sized bubbles in the Bubble Lab. Get the NASA treatment in our Astronaut Training Gyro and experience zero gravity. Nail it by lying on the death–defying Bed of Nails. Conquer your fear of heights on our indoor Glow-In-The-Dark Ropes Course. WonderWorks is also home to Wonders of Magic, starring Terry Evanswood, the award-winning and longest running performer in Pigeon Forge. WonderWorks hosts birthday parties and special events seasonally. Open daily from 9 a.m. until midnight. wonderworksonline.com/pigeon-forge.

Meet Virginia’s First African-American Nanoscientist

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By Tiffany Woodall

This past May, Ginai Seabron became the first African-American woman to earn a B.S. in nanoscience from the College of Science at Virginia Tech.

As one of only 20 graduating seniors in the nanoscience major, which is part of the college’s Academy of Integrated Science, Seabron accepted her degree at the Biocomplexity Institute in Steger Hall among shouts of support and cheers from her peers, friends, and family.

Social media has proven that more than just her personal connections are proud of her accomplishment.

“I didn’t expect it at all,” Seabron said of her post going viral. “It’s overwhelming, but I love it.”

Hours before commencement, Seabron spoke through tears as she reflected on her Virginia Tech experience.

“It is not easy at all being the only African American in the room,” she said. “It’s intimidating.”

She chose not to give up, and in doing so inspired others to pursue the degree. “I’ve actually helped a few other people in my black community transfer into the nanoscience department.”

“I met Ginai during her freshman year while talking to students about our shared interest in nanoscience,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands, who also has a nanotechnology background. “We’re proud of her success, and I greatly appreciate her many contributions to the university community. Her strength and insight have been very helpful to me in our efforts to make the Virginia Tech experience more inclusive. I have no doubt that great things are ahead for her.”

Her advice to future students comes from lessons she’s learned along the way.

“Continue to push,” she said. “Rely on your family and your friends. Reach out to your professors. Go to office hours. Create your own office hours if you have to. Be social. Step out of your comfort zone. Get to know the people in your class—they could become your study buddies. You’ll think you’re the only person struggling, but as it turns out, everybody’s struggling.”

With the term “family,” she’s referring to more than just relatives. While her kin have been an incredible support system, the relationships she built through her involvement on campus have sustained her on long days and even longer nights.

“The black community at Virginia Tech is wonderful,” she said. “The Black Cultural Center and everyone in the cultural and community centers are all amazing. They know me as Auntie Nai here. They’re really my family away from home. Without them, I wouldn’t have made it. I can promise you that.”

In response to their encouragement, Seabron served as president of the Black Organizations Council and was a member of Enlightened Gospel Choir, where she was awarded for her commitment to diversity and inclusion at the University Student Leadership Awards. She was a resident advisor during her junior year, a teaching assistant during her sophomore year, and has volunteered with College Mentors for Kids.

“I love helping others, and in every single one of those positions, I’ve had the great opportunity of meeting and helping out other people,” Seabron said. “And they’ve also helped me through.”

Ginai’s mother, Sherita Seabron, describes her daughter as a natural-born leader and said last weekend’s events created the best Mother’s Day she could ask for.

“I feel overjoyed and overwhelmed with emotion,” Sherita said. “I knew she was destined for greatness, and I’m just excited to see what’s next for her.”

Ginai’s post-graduation plans have yet to be solidified, but one thing is certain: she’s looking forward to getting more sleep.

Photo Credit: Steven Mackay
Source: Original article from Student Affairs at Virginia Tech

The self-described “serial entrepreneur” owns four profitable, distinct businesses with plans to launch a fifth in the near future.

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Yalika Yap

Successful entrepreneurs usually have their hands full running one business, but Kalika Yap isn’t like other business owners. The self-described “serial entrepreneur” owns four profitable, distinct businesses with plans to launch a fifth in the near future.

“Being an entrepreneur, you learn something new every day,” says Yap, who was a journalist with Bloomberg and CNBC before she caught the entrepreneurial bug. “I meet so many people—it’s exciting. It can be crazy and nerve-wracking, but if you hang in there, it’s a huge learning opportunity.”

In 1999, Yap started her first business, Citrus Studios, Inc., a branding and digital agency that provides a wide array of services, from logo design, website development and content marketing to social media management. The Santa Monica-based firm and its 21 employees serve blue-chip clients including Hulu, Annenberg Foundation, Sephora, Dollar Shave Club, Sony, USC, UCLA, Stanford University and The Getty Center.

In 2005, she invented Luxe Link, a fashion accessory that keeps handbags off the floor and is sold online and in thousands of stores around the world. Yap, who holds patents in China, Hong Kong, Japan and Canada, has licensing deals with Cole Haan, Michael Kors and others.

Four years later, she launched The Waxing Company, the first high-end waxing salon in Honolulu. Last year, Yap founded Orange & Bergamot, which provides similar services as Citrus, but aimed at women-owned firms with smaller budgets. She plans to launch a brother company, Bergamot Brands, targeted at men business owners.

“I want to create companies that elevate business owners and help them succeed,” says Yap, who learned how to code in the 1990s before the technology boom. She honed her digital technology skills while working at the Getty, and after she left her job to start Citrus, the Getty became her first client.

“I did several projects for them, and as people left for other jobs at Norton Simon, USC and Huntington Library, they’d recommend me for other work. When you do good work, word gets around,” she adds.

Lessons Learned and Certification

With the Getty as a first client and others coming by word-of-mouth, Citrus didn’t face many struggles in the early years, although “back then, you had to convince people to get online,” Yap says. “Now, everyone knows they need to have a great online presence—your business won’t succeed without it. That’s how people remember you.”

Like most business owners starting out, she wasn’t selective about Citrus’ clients—taking any project that came her way. Then, she realized the importance of making sure her clients’ values aligned with hers.

Yap created the company’s core values, which include: Communicate kindly, Have heart, be All in, be Remarkable and Make lemonade out of lemons, or CHARM. “When I work with a potential client or employee, I share my values and make sure we’re aligned,” she adds.

Citrus, which has been SCMSDC-certified for several years, has benefited from its minority business enterprise (MBE) certification, according to Yap. “We do a lot of work with L.A. County as a subcontractor and all the primes want you to be certified, so certification really helps.”

In addition to attending council events, including Minority Business Opportunity Day and the Leadership Excellence Awards gala, Yap was a featured speaker at CEO Academy, SCMSDC’s leadership program for MBEs, where she helped participants reveal their brand’s core essence and convey their brand to better connect with audiences.

Yap has received many awards, including the National Association of Women Business Owner’s Rising Star award, Deborah Awards by the ADL and Asian Business Association’s Technology Firm of the Year. She is also the first woman and minority to serve as president of the Entrepreneurs Organization Los Angeles, a global, peer-to-peer network of influential business owners with 173 chapters.

Tips for Success

Her advice to minority entrepreneurs?

  • “Don’t give up. A lot of times, business owners are almost there and throw in the towel too soon. Don’t let fear take over. I told myself that failing wasn’t an option.”
  • “Have habits that will make you productive. I meditate twice a day and work out every day. I design my life the way I want it. My habits help me start off my day in a great mental state.”
  • “Leverage technology. I use technology to streamline my work.”
  • “Define what success means to you. Someone’s idea of success may be to sell a company, have a great family life or flexible schedule … define what it is and go for it.”

Source: scmsdc.org

Backed By Arielle Zuckerberg, Juni Learning’s 20-Something Female Founders Are Teaching Kids To Code

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Ruby Lee, 26, and Vivian Shen, 25, believe that their one-year-old startup, Juni Learning, can succeed in the crowded field of online coding instruction for kids. Last week Juni announced a roster of angel investors who contributed to a $790,000 funding round. They include Mark Zuckerberg’s youngest sister, Arielle, a partner at venture firm Kleiner Perkins, where Lee used to work.

Lee and Shen, who met as classmates at Stanford, are modeling Juni on VIPKIDS, the China-based startup recently valued at $3 billion. VIPKIDS pays an army of 60,000 American teachers to moonlight as online English instructors for students in China.

Lee and Shen rely on computer science students at schools like Stanford, U.C. Berkeley, Harvard and MIT, whom they recruit through Facebook groups and through word-of-mouth. Juni pays its instructors $20 to $25 an hour to teach private and semiprivate online coding classes to students who range in age from kindergarten through high school. It charges a monthly subscription fee of $250 for weekly private one-hour lessons and $160 for semiprivate sessions. So far Juni has more than 300 students in 10 countries and 27 states, many of whom have signed on for six months or more.

Juni is competing with established live-instruction coding schools like CodeWizardsHQ and Tekkie Uni. But Shen said that most of them teach students in large groups. The majority of Juni’s courses are one-on-one, and Shen said she and Lee have put together a sequenced curriculum, starting with instruction in the Python computer language, that prepares students for most college computer science programs. “When we talked to high schools,” she said, “we found that they struggled to find a standardized curriculum.”

Shen was in Manhattan this week to visit friends. She also met with Randi Zuckerberg and talked about signing Zuckerberg’s 8-year-old up for Juni classes. And she appeared on Zuckerberg’s Sirius XM radio show and discussed entrepreneurship.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

‘Ant-Man’ science adviser explains the real-life physics behind the film

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The quantum physicist says Superman may be powerful, but he wouldn’t stand a chance against Ant-Man.

You may think that a movie about a superhero who can shrink down to the size of an ant doesn’t have much basis in reality, but according to Spyridon Michalakis, a quantum physicist at the California Institute of Technology, there is some fact behind the fictional world of “Ant-Man.”

Michalakis would know. He served as science adviser for both the original 2015 “Ant-Man” film and the new sequel, “Ant-Man and The Wasp.” In this role, Michalakis helped the filmmakers and actor Paul Rudd (who plays Ant-Man) tease out the real-life science behind the superhero’s powers and the films’ so-called Quantum Realm, a place that isn’t governed by normal laws of physics.

But how much of the “Ant-Man” universe is steeped in science? Could a human shrink down to the size of an insect — and survive? NBC News MACH recently sat down with Michalakis to learn about some of the real-life physics behind the films.

MACH: Ant-Man doesn’t necessarily get as much respect as other bigger-name superheroes, but since this is your area of expertise, can you make an argument for why Ant-Man could go toe-to-toe with some of the bigger guns in the Marvel universe?

Michalakis: There was an article a couple of years ago, around the time when the first “Ant-Man” movie came out, and I was quoted as saying that Superman, my favorite superhero growing up, wouldn’t stand a chance against Ant-Man. People were like: “No. What are you talking about? This wouldn’t happen.” What I meant is that Superman is someone who [has] supreme powers within the realm of physics, with the laws that we understand.

Ant-Man, by going to the Quantum Realm and understanding how to work with the source code of reality at that level, he could rewrite the laws of physics. He could move within space and time in ways that no other superhero can do. It’s not just a matter of power. He would change even what the notion of mass is, and lift things much more easily. It is a crazy place to be in the Quantum Realm.

Let’s go back to basics. What exactly is quantum physics?

Quantum physics is usually thought of as the physics of the universe at the microscopic level. This is kind of a misunderstanding. Quantum physics seems to be the foundation of all of physics, almost like a theory of knowledge — a way for us, as humanity, [to ask] questions that go beyond what we were able to ask before. Removing that filter allows us to see reality at its true form, and makes for some very weird things that end up happening, like particles being in two places at the same time [and] quantum entanglement, which is the ability of these particles to communicate with each other, somehow, over vast distances. When you study quantum physics, you try to understand how particles, but also larger objects in this world, behave when you have the ability to view them from many different points of view.

Are there aspects of the Quantum Realm in the “Ant-Man” movies that are actually rooted in real-life quantum physics?

When I was brought in for the first movie to discuss some aspects of quantum physics that might be relevant to the plot, one of the things that really resonated with the writers and Paul [Rudd] was this idea that, as you go deeper and deeper into the Quantum Realm, the things that we take for granted — the idea that there are laws of physics, that there is a dimension of time and we’re moving through it in one direction — all of these things potentially dissolve. Reality itself is melting away and new possibilities appear. I find this interesting, that I have an opportunity as a consultant for the movie, to introduce the public to some really cutting-edge and kind of sci-fi-sounding ideas that are part of physics right now.

Are there specific contributions that you made to the film’s plot?

I ended up working on the script this time. One of the major driving points for the plot is a connection that Scott Lang [played by Rudd] has with the original Wasp, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, because there were some rumors that toward the end of the first movie, there was a reflection of the Wasp on Ant-Man’s helmet when he was within the Quantum Realm. The idea is that they have been linked, somehow, through quantum entanglement, so he has these visions of Michelle Pfeiffer’s character, which will allow the team to be able to go and retrieve her from the Quantum Realm.

Continue onto NBC News to read the complete article.

Life in the Fast Lane at Alcatraz East Crime Museum

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Alcatraz East

Every year people visit car shows, both near their home, and even states away. The country has a fascination with both old and new models, and car shows give auto enthusiasts a way to see a variety of vehicles all at one time.It also gives them the up-close “look under the hood” experience they can’t get from flipping through a magazine or watching a television show. Car fans can also get up close to significant crime car history at Alcatraz East Crime Museum, where it’s life in the fast lane that attracts visitors as they peruse the six must-see vehicles on public display.

“So many people love cars of all types, and when they are featured in an historical event it makes them even more interesting to our visitors,” explains Rachael Penman, director of artifacts and exhibits at Alcatraz East Crime Museum. “Guests immediately start sharing their own connections to the cars’ stories and it’s special to be able to make these artifacts available to the public”.

There are six crime and law enforcement related vehicles on display at the museum, two of which are located outdoors so are free to view. The other four are inside the museum in the Getaway Cars Gallery, which is part of regular admission. The vehicles on display at the museum include:

  • 1933 Essex Terraplane– Actually owned and not stolen by notorious bank robber John Alcatraz East MuseumDillinger, he purchased the car new in 1934. Dillinger escaped FBI agents in the car along with his girlfriend Evelyn Frechette, and a bullet from the shootout can still be seen from inside of the car. He soon had to abandon the car after crashing in a field, and signed it over to his brother.
  • 1934 Ford V8– The hole-ridden vintage Ford was featured as the death car in classic 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde starring Warren Beatty and Fay Dunaway. The ambush scene set new standards for onscreen violence, and the bullet holes seen in the car were made by local police who shot up the car for filming.
  • 1968 Volkswagen Beetle– The museum’s VW Beetle was owned by serial killer Ted Bundy. The vehicle was integral to both his murders and his ultimate conviction when it yielded important DNA evidence. The car is displayed without the front passenger seat in the same way Bundy use the car.
  • 1993 Ford Bronco– Owned and driven by OJ Simpson’s friend Al Cowlings, the white Bronco is the very vehicle where Simpson sat in the back seat during the slow speed chase that so many tuned in to witness.
  • Sevier County Sheriff’s Car – Purchased new in 2007, the Dodge Charger in front of the museum was used by three members of the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office during its 9-year career. It was retired in 2016, and found a new home on loan to the museum educating the public.
  • Government Surveillance Van– Located outside the museum, the van was used the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a Georgia police department. A display inside the museum gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the cramped quarters law enforcement spends time in during a stakeout, with barely enough room to stand and little privacy to use the toilet. The van was in active criminal investigations, including drug crimes and burglary surveillance.

Alcatraz East Museum“Our Getaway Cars Gallery is a highly popular area of the museum, and for good reason, as most people own cars so they connect with their stories as objects,” added Penman. “Our crime cars each represent a cautionary tale, symbolizing a warning about the consequences of crime, while our law enforcement vehicles are positive reminders of all law enforcement does every day, both in public and behind-the-scenes, to keep us safe.”

Alcatraz East Crime Museum offers a variety of permanent and temporary exhibits on all aspects of crime history, CSI, and law enforcement. Current temporary exhibits include “The Second Amendment” until September 2019, “It Happened Here: Tennessee Crimes & Justice,” until May 2019, and permanent displays featuring items such as “Old Smokey,” Tennessee’s electric chair.

The museum is always adding to its collection, and has a star-studded panel of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including those in law enforcement, collectors, a medical examiner, crime scene investigators, and others. The board includes Jim Willett, a retired prison warden, Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: alcatrazeast.com.

About Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests of all ages can encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction is located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the last ticket sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: alcatrazeast.com.

Sharon Caples McDougle is somewhat of a “hidden figure”

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Sharon McDougle with Mae Jamison

Everyone knows that Dr. Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to travel into space – but many don’t know that an African American woman “suited her up”. McDougle was Jemison’s suit tech for the historic mission STS-47 aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor September 12, 1992.

McDougle worked closely with her during her training leading up to launch, as well as actual launch day and landing of the space shuttle – taking care of all of her assigned crew escape equipment – her suit, helmet, writing utensils, even her diaper.

McDougle joined the NASA family through Boeing Aerospace Operations in 1990 where she worked as a Flight Equipment Processing Contract team member in the Space Shuttle Crew Escape Equipment (CEE) department. She began her career as a CEE Suit Technician and was responsible for processing the orange launch and entry suit (LES) assemblies worn by all NASA space shuttle astronauts. She was assigned to her first mission STS-37 within a year. McDougle was one of only two women CEE Suit Technicians and the only African American technician when she began her career.

In 1994 McDougle was promoted to the position of Crew Chief making her the first female and first African American Crew Chief in CEE. In her new position she was responsible for leading a team of technicians to suit up astronaut crews. She was responsible for leading her team and ensuring the astronaut crews were provided with outstanding support during suited astronaut training, launch, and landing events. In 1998, United Space Alliance (USA) absorbed the Boeing Aerospace Operations contract and McDougle continued in her position as a CEE Crew Chief employed by USA. She traveled to Kennedy Space Center quite often where she worked in support of many space shuttle launches. As Crew Chief McDougle had the honor of leading the first and only all-female suit tech crew supporting space shuttle mission STS-78.

In 2004 McDougle became the first female and first African American promoted to the position of Manager of the CEE Processing department. In this position, she managed the team of 25+ employees responsible for processing the Advanced Crew Escape Suit (ACES) and related equipment worn by the astronaut crews aboard the space shuttle. Her team assisted the astronaut Sharon McDougle and Lt. Uhuracrews in donning/doffing the suit, testing the equipment, strapping the astronauts into the space shuttle before launch, and recovering the crew upon landing. She held this position until the Space Shuttle Program ended in 2011. Sharon continued working until 2012 to help close-out the program, ending an illustrious 22 year career with the space shuttle program.

Other notable African-American astronauts McDougle has suited up: Charles Bolden, Frederick Gregory, and Dr. Bernard Harris.

During her career she was recognized with the Astronaut “Silver Snoopy” Award, Space Flight Awareness Honoree Award, USA Employee of the Month Teamwork Award, USA Employee of the Month Community Service Award, and the coveted Women of Color in Flight Award from Dr. Mae Jemison recognizing her career as the first and only African American woman suit tech/crew chief in her field. She absolutely loved her job and is proud to have been a part of our nation’s historic Space Shuttle Program.

McDougle was recognized by her home state as a 2018 Mississippi Trailblazer at the 16th Annual Mississippi Trailblazers Awards Ceremony and Black Tie Gala where she received two awards: the Calvin “Buck” Buchanan “FIRST” Award named for Mississippi’s first United States Attorney for the Northern District – honoring a Mississippian who holds the distinction of being the “first” in their profession and the Dr. Cindy Ayers “Legacy” Award honoring a Trailblazer whose singular work and contributions will leave a legacy long after their life has ended.

Most recently, McDougle received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Moss Point Visionary Circle during their 6th Annual Living Legends Ball for her military service and NASA career.

McDougle is also a United States Air Force (USAF) veteran, which is where she began her aerospace career in 1982 after graduating from high school. She served proudly in the Strategic Air Command (SAC) as an Aerospace Physiology Specialist at Beale Air Force Base, CA (1982-1990), reaching the rank of Sergeant (E-4).

During her enlistment she was a member of the Physiological Support Division (PSD). McDougle was responsible for training the SR-71 and U-2/TR-1 (“spy planes”) reconnaissance aircraft pilots on high altitude operations. She performed hazardous duty as an inside observer chamber technician and as a chamber operations team member during hypobaric (altitude) and hyperbaric (dive) chamber operations. During the hypobaric chamber flights crewmembers learned firsthand how hypoxia affects their judgment while flying an aircraft. The crewmembers were taught and practiced how they would handle these types of situations and the importance of wearing all equipment correctly.

McDougle also inspected and maintained flight equipment used for the SR-71 and U-2/TR-1 missions. The equipment included full pressure suit ensembles (helmet, gloves, boots, etc.), harness assemblies, and survival equipment (seat kits and parachutes, and emergency oxygen systems). She sized and fitted crewmembers’ pressure suits, assisted crewmembers in donning and doffing their suits, and performed functional tests before takeoff. She also loaded the survival seat kits and parachutes into the aircraft, strapped-in the crewmembers before take-off, and recovered the crew upon landing.

• 1982 – Graduated from Moss Point High School (Moss Point, MS)
• 1982-1990 – served in the United States Air Force as an Aerospace Physiology Specialist
• 1990 – Joined Boeing Aerospace Operations/Space Shuttle Crew Escape Equipment (CEE), becoming the first African American CEE Suit Technician
• 1992 – Suited up Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color to travel into space (STS-47)
• 1994 – Promoted to Crew Chief, becoming first African American (male or female) CEE Crew Chief
• 1996 – Led the first and only all-female suit tech crew (STS-78)
• 2004 – First and only African American (male or female) promoted to the position of Manager of the CEE department

McDougle spent much of her enlistment on temporary assignment traveling abroad to Greece, Korea, Japan, and England, as well as stateside locations, in support of the SR-71 and U-2/TR-1 reconnaissance aircraft missions. She separated from the Air Force in 1990 with an honorable discharge. During her enlistment she was awarded the Humanitarian Service Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (2 devices), Good Conduct Medal (1 oak leaf cluster), Training Ribbon, NCO Professional Military Education Ribbon, Longevity Service Award, and was also recognized as Airman of the Month.

Crime Museum to Host 9/11 Forensic Expert, Offer Discounted Admission for Locals

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As we approach the 17th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Alcatraz East Crime Museum will be hosting a special guest speaker who will share his story of working at Ground Zero in New York.

Arthur Bohanan, a forensic expert, will be speaking at the museum on Saturday September 8, 2018. His presentation is included in the museum admission, with talks scheduled for 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3 p.m.

“We are honored to have Art Bohanan speak at the museum and share his first-hand experiences of the 9/11 attacks,” says Rachael Penman, director of artifacts and exhibits. “Around the anniversary we always try mark the moment in some way, and we look forward to visitors joining us to hear Art’s powerful story.”

Bohanan is a local forensic expert who arrived at Ground Zero the day after the attack. He spent weeks onsite, using his expertise to do the difficult work of identifying human remains. Working 12-hour shifts in a makeshift mortuary, he was subjected to breathing in a toxic combination of vaporized plastics, jet fuel, asbestos, and numerous other toxins. To this day, he continues to suffer health issues from breathing in the toxins. Since that tragic day, there have been over 1,000 rescue and recovery workers who have died as a direct result of medical issues they developed from working at the site.

In addition to hearing Bohanan speak, visitors can visit the museum’s 9/11 exhibit. The display includes pieces from Bohanan, including his ID badge, hard hat, and respirator mask. There are also additional new items that the museum has added from the cleanup site, including a computer keyboard, melted and twisted from the heat and impact of the towers’ collapse.

Arthur Bohanan will share his experience working at Ground Zero

“I worked in New York City at Ground Zero and the Medical Examiner’s lab for eight weeks on DNA recovery. The personal sacrifice of the dedicated first responders in the aftermath is often overlooked, and I am honored to speak about my time there,” says Bohanan. “The medical issues from the site have been difficult, but I have been blessed and would do it again.”

Bohanan grew up in Sevier County, joining the FBI out of high school. He spent 26 years with the Knoxville Police Department as a senior forensic examiner. Specializing in fingerprints, he also invented a device using vaporized superglue blown onto skin to make prints available. He received a patent for the invention, which is used around the world.

From September 7, 2018 – October 14, 2018 Alcatraz East Crime Museum will be hosting its annual fall local appreciation days. Locals from the counties of Blount, Cocke, Jefferson, Knox, and Sevier, as well as those from the state welcome centers, receive $5 admission when they show their local identification or paystub.

The museum is always adding to their collection and has a star-studded panel of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including those in law enforcement, collectors, a medical examiner, crime scene investigators, and others. The board includes Jim Willett, a retired prison warden, Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: alcatrazeast.com.

About Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests of all ages can encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction is located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the last ticket sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: alcatrazeast.com.

This app wants to bring banking to the unbanked

LinkedIn

Growing up in Terry, Mississippi, Sheena Allen didn’t spend much time in banks.

The small town, located 17-miles south of Jackson, only had one bank branch (and still does). Much of the community got by without ever having accounts, including Allen’s grandmother and great grandmother. They relied on fee-heavy solutions like payday loans and check cashing services.

Allen, a 29-year-old app developer, hadn’t given much thought to the issues associated with not having a bank account until she came home for the holidays in 2015. She noticed how the people who still rely on non-traditional banking lose money on interest and fees for cashing checks, reloading prepaid cards, and borrowing and lending money. Without a bank account, they had difficulty establishing credit scores, buying homes, and saving for the future.

After years of living in a few large US cities, she unexpectedly found her biggest business idea back where she started.

In 2016, she started working on CapWay, an online banking and financial literacy app that aims to help the unbanked, underbanked and people living paycheck to paycheck.

“I know this problem from a personal point of view, from my family and friends, but I didn’t know this problem from outside of Mississippi,” said Allen, who spent a year traveling around the US researching the issue.

Users can connect existing accounts to the app or get a pre-paid card from CapWay, which Allen says will have a lower rate than most other cards currently available. It will make custom suggestions based on an individual’s spending habits, such as pointing them to a state-run program that can help renters become homeowners or telling them how to avoid overdraft fees. The ultimate goal is to change behavior and transition users to a proper bank account.

Although anyone can use the app, it is targeted toward Millennials who aren’t yet set in their ways to “stop them from going into a cycle that’s really hard to get out of,” she said.

CapWay is still in the testing phase. It will first roll out to iOS, Android and mobile web users in Mississippi, which has the highest population of unbanked and underbanked residents. When it launches nationally later this year, CapWay will partner with schools, employers, financial institutions and community organizations in the South to reach the people who need it.

Allen says the company will make money off paid partnerships, fees from pre-paid cards, and sponsored content and advertising.

Allen says CapWay is making sure its educational content easy to understand and tailored for its audience.

“In the end, education and understanding money along with giving them to tools to put that education to use will be the shift. You can’t give people one part and not the other and expect to see a big change,” said Allen.

Continue onto CNN to read the complete article.

Inventions to Change Your Tomorrow

LinkedIn
Paper-Toy

This 20-Cent Paper Toy Helps Diagnose Diseases

Inspired by a toy, the hand powered blood centrifuge Paperfuge enables precise diagnosis and treatment for diseases such as malaria, African sleeping sickness, HIV and tuberculosis.

The low-cost invention was developed by Stanford bioengineer Manu Prakash. Prakash recognized the need for a new type of centrifuge after seeing an expensive centrifuge being used as a doorstop in a rural clinic in Uganda because there was no electricity to run it.

Are Air Taxis Our Next Form of Travel?

Cora, an air taxi designed and built by Kitty Hawk Corporation, combines electric power, self-piloting software, and vertical takeoff to pioneer a new way to fly. Cora has the potential to transform spaces like rooftops and parking lots into places to take off, right in consumers’ neighborhoods. This effort began in New Zealand and has backing from Google co-founder and Alphabet CEO Larry Page.

Air Taxis

 

Tarjimly: Connecting Refugees with Translators

Tarjimly is a first-class Facebook translation facilitator that connects the 3 billion bilingual speakers currently on Facebook to the more than 23 million refuges worldwide, allowing bilingual users to translate into 16 different languages for refugees around the world. Where machine translation has failed NGOs and nonprofits around the world, Tarjimly solves a major problem by mobilizing the world’s bilingual speakers to accurately translate for those who would otherwise not have access.

Tarjimly

 

A New Kind of Ink for 3D Printing

Researchers from the STEM-focused university ETH Zurich in Switzerland have developed a biocompatible ink for 3D printing containing live bacteria. Using live bacteria in 3D printer ink makes it possible to produce biological materials capable of breaking down toxic substances or producing high-purity cellulose for biomedical applications.

3dp-printer

 

Water Rescue Robot EMILY Saves Lives

If you haven’t required the services of the Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard, or EMILY, count yourself lucky. EMILY is called into action by lifeguards and emergency response teams around the world for water rescues. The Swift Water Rescue EMILY (SWRE) key feature is to stabilize the situation with flooding and swift water rescue by keeping the rescuer out of the water and harm’s way.

Water Rescue

 

Promobot: Your Next Employee?

Promobot, the autonomous service robot for business helps people with navigation, autonomously moves, communicates, answers any questions, and shows promotional materials and remembers everyone it has communicated with. Thanks to its full autonomy, Promobot is available to work as an administrator, promoter, host/hostess, or guide for cinemas, museums, shopping centers and more.

Promobot

Taste test: Burger robot startup Creator opens first restaurant

LinkedIn

Creator’s transparent burger robot doesn’t grind your brisket and chuck steak into a gourmet patty until you order it. That’s just one way this startup, formerly known as Momentum Machines, wants to serve the world’s freshest cheeseburger for just $6. On June 27th, after eight years in development, Creator unveils its first robot restaurant before opening to the public in September. We got a sneak peek…err…taste.

When I ask how a startup launching one eatery at a time could become a $10 billion company, Creator  co-founder and CEO Alex Vardakostas looks me dead in the eye and says, “the market is much bigger than that.”

Here’s how Creator’s burger-cooking bot works at its 680 Folsom Street location in San Francisco. Once you order your burger style through a human concierge on a tablet, a compressed air tube pushes a baked-that-day bun into an elevator on the right. It’s sawed in half by a vibrating knife before being toasted and buttered as it’s lowered to conveyor belt. Sauces measured by the milliliter and spices by the gram are automatically squirted onto the bun. Whole pickles, tomatoes, onions and blocks of nice cheese get slices shaved off just a second before they’re dropped on top.

Meanwhile, the robot grinds hormone-free, pasture-raised brisket and chuck steak to order. But rather than mash them all up, the strands of meat hang vertically and are lightly pressed together. They form a loose but auto-griddleable patty that’s then plopped onto the bun before the whole package slides out of the machine after a total time of about five minutes. The idea is that when you bite into the burger, your teeth align with the vertical strands so instead of requiring harsh chewing it almost melts in your mouth.

Continue onto Tech Crunch to read the complete article.