Exhibit '30 Years of USU in Space Exploration' Opens at USU
Thursday, Jul. 19, 2012
'30 Years of USU in Space Exploration' can be seen in the atrium area of Merrill-Cazier Library. The exhibit highlights accomplishments of USU’s GAS Team. (photo courtesy Mary-Ann Muffoletto, writer/public relations specialist, College of Science)
University Libraries' Kristin Heal puts finishing touches on the exhibit that can be seen through mid-September. (photo courtesy Mary-Ann Muffoletto, writer/public relations specialist, College of Science)
Exhibit panels provide background and history about the Get Away Special program. (photo courtesy Mary-Ann Muffoletto, writer/public relations specialist, College of Science)
The logo patch worn by USU student members of the Get Away Special team.
University Libraries at Utah State University continues its exhibition program at Merrill-Cazier Library with a new offering that highlights the history and accomplishments of the Get Away Special Program at USU.
The exhibit, 30 Years of USU in Space Exploration, is a tribute to the students who were members of the GAS team through the years. Now on display in the atrium area of Merrill-Cazier Library on USU’s Logan campus, the exhibit can be seen through mid-September.
On display is an array of images, experiments, news clippings and videos from Utah State University’s student-based club, the Get Away Special Program. Established in 1976 when NASA announced the opportunity for space research to be included aboard space shuttle flights, the program has touched the academic careers of many USU students.
The idea of an exhibit began with Betty Rozum, associate dean for technical services, and Andrew Wesolek, scholarly communications librarian, as they worked with the current GAS team to upload its materials to the university’s institutional repository, Digital Commons. As Rozum and Wesolek worked with the team, they discovered the team held a significant print archive that would be well suited for University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives holdings.
Rozum said the material was rich in history and had a story “begging to be told.”
“We partnered with USU’s Physics Department, which oversees the GAS team, to develop an exhibit that would share the history of this impressive group that has given USU the distinction of sending more student-built experiments into space than any other institution in the world,” she said.
Exhibit visitors will see a series of display panels with images from the GAS Program. The visually stimulating panels were designed and created by the library’s graphic designer Kristin Heal. Exhibit organizers also worked with USU’s Physics Department Head Jan Sojka who made a number of physical artifacts available.
“When visitors walk into the library they will be immediately struck by the strong images in the exhibit,” Rozum said. “They can also see examples of experiments that flew in space.”
There are a number of other examples of student experiments developed through the years. And, according to the USU’s Physics Department, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian is interested in obtaining a payload containing a GAS experiment created by Shoshone-Bannock students of Idaho’s Fort Hall Reservation that can be seen in the University Libraries’ exhibit.
In addition to many of the exhibit materials, other items from the GAS program are located in USU’s Digital Commons, including educational outreach. Through the years the teams have frequently worked with public school students — both at the elementary and high school levels. They advised high school students in experiment designs and with the younger group worked to foster interest in science through an experiment that sent popcorn into space. A number of these GAS team lesson plans are available at Digital Commons.
And in an update on the 2012 GAS Team, members were at NASA’s Microgravity University for ten days in July, flying an experiment of their own design on a microgravity jet from Houston’s Johnson Space Center. Read more in an earlier Utah State Today article.
- USU’s University Libraries
- USU Special Collections and Archives
- USU Digital Commons
- USU Department of Physics
Source: University Libraries
Contact: Betty Rozum, (435) 797-2632, Betty.firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Andrew Wesolek, (435) 797-2650, Andrew.email@example.com