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The Best of Our Knowledge # 977



It's summer again, which means it's time for the Ohio Supercomputer Center's annual Young Women's Summer Institute. The program has been running for more than eight years, and this year, begins at the end of July. They have a successful track record of promoting math, science and engineering skills.

Research reveals over 90% of the middle-school age girls who attended in the past were more confident about using technology. And 87% of parents felt their daughters had a greater self-assurance in science and math classes.

TBOOK's, Sandra Sleight-Brennan, went on location in Ohio and spoke with Dr. Steve Gordon, Director of Education Programs at the Ohio Supercomputer Center. Dr. Gordon is the lead researcher in the Young Women's Summer Institute Study, and a faculty member at Ohio State University in Columbus.

Sandra Sleight-Brennan reports from Ohio. (9:39)

The preceding material was supported by the National Science Foundation under grant HRD 0631603. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this story, are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.

*(Attention Listeners and Program Directors. If you would like to hear an extended version of the above story, or other similar stories in our National Science Foundation series, go to our especially dedicated website: www.womeninscience.org, and click on "The Sounds of Progress" button.

For additional information on the Young Women's Summer Institute, visit them online at: http://www.osc.edu/education/ywsi/)*


The primary mission of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope came to an end last month after nearly six years probing the cosmos with its keen infrared eye.

The liquid helium, which kept its infrared detectors near absolute zero temperatures, was expected to run out.

But the good news is that Spitzer will remain cold enough to keep on probing space for at least two more years.

The spacecraft is currently in orbit around the Sun, about 62-million miles behind Earth.

More than 800-thousand snapshots from Spitzer have been laced together to create a new "coming of age" portrait of stars in our inner Milky Way Galaxy. And more than 100-million stars have been catalogued. You often see these spectacular photos in magazines.

Spitzer now enters what's called its "Warm Mission." It will continue to study extra-solar planets, plus survey thousands of asteroids in our solar system.

This is part of our Astrobiology Research and Education Series, supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

TBOOK speaks with Dr. Sean Carey, Staff Scientist at the Spitzer Science Center, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California.

Glenn Busby reports. (9:39)

The preceding is made possible by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, through support of the New York Center for Astrobiology, located at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in partnership with the University at Albany, the University of Arizona, and Syracuse University.

*(For more information about this story, or any of the other more than 150 stories featured in this exclusive radio series, or if you would like to hear them again via your computer, the website given at the conclusion of the above segment is: www.origins.rpi.edu)*