Lecture: 15 September “Tales from the Stratosphere”

06 Sep 2021 10:13 AM | Scott Miller (Administrator)

15 September 2021, 7:00 PM, Wednesday, Live-streamed via Zoom, YouTube and Facebook

“Tales from the Stratosphere”


Marita Beard, Physics Instructor, Leigh HS, San Jose

SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, operated by NASA, is a Boeing 747SP aircraft that flies into the stratosphere, above 99 percent of Earth’s infrared-blocking atmosphere, allowing research in ways not possible with ground-based telescopes.

Ten years after her first flight on SOFIA, Marita Beard's stories about her experiences on SOFIA continue to serve as a way to engage and connect learning goals to real world education opportunities for her students. As an Airborne Ambassador for SOFIA, Marita will share how her experiences on several SOFIA flights helped her achieve her lifelong dream of being a part of a NASA mission. She works to inspire her students to pursue their own STEM goals through learning how science is conducted on SOFIA. Her students also learn about the backgrounds of people involved with SOFIA, and what SOFIA has discovered since its first flight.

Marita believes she has much to contribute because of working with SOFIA at NASA Ames prior to going into teaching, and she will share her experiences with us.

Brief Bio

After earning her B.S. in Physics and a mathematics minor from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Marita Beard worked as an assistant scientist in Astrophysics research as a contractor at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, and then in Education and Public Outreach developing science curriculum through the SETI Institute.

The desire to work directly with students and the opportunity to inspire more young women and students of color to STEM education led her to a teaching career at Campbell Union High School district in 2005. She currently teaches Physics and AP Physics at Leigh High School in San Jose. When not teaching she enjoys family road trips.

How to Attend

To attend the virtual meeting "live" with the opportunity to ask questions:

Connect starting at 6:30pm on Wednesday, September 15th by clicking this Zoom meeting link: https://zoom.us/j/95830904603?pwd=UDNKdm16US9wK1EremdJeGptdjNNdz09

Clicking the link may prompt you to install the Zoom virtual meeting app. Once installed, you will be able to join the meeting. If the app is already installed on your device, simply enter the meeting number 958 3090 4603 and password 116064 to join the meeting.

Once joined, you can test your audio and video, and greet other members.

Board members will join the meeting early to help troubleshoot any problems with audio or video.

"Doors Open" at 6:30pm and the announcements and lecture will start promptly at 7:00pm.

Alternatively, please visit the following channels to attend the live stream:

SFAA YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChuBJGp_iJYZ11q_ayA-q3A

SFAA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/152754481404310