More than 175 middle school students, invited from six area middle schools, descended on the LSU campus to compete in space-themed competitions and discover space-related college and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Hosted by the LSU College of Engineering, LSU College of Science, Lockheed Martin, NCAM, Jacobs Technology and NASA, LSU Space Day 2014 was designed to increase student interest in STEM fields at a younger age and showcase opportunities to design, build and test for NASA’s next space exploration. Interactive teams constructed and launched rockets using generated pressure and energy; built and demonstrated thrust source in aircraft engines; and competed in payload differential launches.
Additional space exploration exhibits included: a 1/25 model of NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, a 30 foot tall Space Launch System inflatable model, LSU’s high altitude payload balloon research, and a special space flight mission directive from Keith Comeaux, flight director of the Curiosity flight landing on Mars, and LSU College of Engineering alumnus.

Schools participating in LSU Space Day 2014 included: Episcopal, Glasgow Middle School, Iberville Math, Science, and Arts Academy, Parkview Baptist, St. Aloysius School, and Scotlandville Pre-Engineering Magnet Academy. Each school presented a custom designed Orion mission patch, as astronaut crews do for their missions. The winning patch designed by Parkview Baptist will fly on the first Orion test flight in December, Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1).

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