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Taber J.,Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology | Hubenthal M.,Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology | Bravo T.,Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology | Dorr P.,Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology | And 3 more authors.
The Leading Edge | Year: 2015

The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology's (IRIS) Education and Public Outreach (EPO) program is committed to advancing awareness and understanding of seismology and geophysics while also inspiring careers in the earth sciences. To achieve this mission, the IRIS EPO program combines the content expertise of the consortium membership with the educational and outreach expertise of IRIS staff members to create programs, products, and services that target a range of audiences, including students and teachers in grades six through 12, undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, researchers, and the general public. Since 1998, the IRIS EPO program has produced a portfolio of freely available products and services and offers a rich repository for anyone who teaches seismology-related topics and/ or communicates seismology research to the general public. Source

News Article
Site: http://news.yahoo.com/science/

Ugo Dumont, a volunteer for the Genworth R70i Aging Experience, experiences vision disorders during a demonstration at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, April 5, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton JERSEY CITY, N.J. (Reuters) - With the push of a button, a perfectly healthy 34-year-old museum-goer named Ugo Dumont was transformed into a confused 85-year-old man with cataracts, glaucoma and a ringing in his ears known as tinnitus. Dumont had volunteered at Liberty Science Center on Tuesday to don a computer-controlled exoskeleton that can be remotely manipulated to debilitate joints, vision and hearing and shared with the crowd what aging feels like decades before his time. Headphones muffled his hearing while goggles left him with only peripheral vision due to macular degeneration while the suit's joints were adjusted to simulate the stiffness of rheumatoid arthritis. The 40-pound (18 kg) suit also gave Dumont a taste of the weight gain people typically experience as they age. "Wow," Dumont gasped as he struggled to walk on a treadmill facing a video titled "Walk on the Beach." His heart raced from 81 beats per minute to 100 as the staff cranked up the ailments, pushing buttons and levers on a control board linked to the computer backpack that he wore. "I don't know how you can focus on the water. You just want to be in bed!" said Dumont, a photo agent who lives in the nearby New York City borough of Brooklyn. The Genworth Aging Experience is a traveling show created by Genworth Financial Inc., an insurance company, in partnership with Applied Minds, a design and engineering company, that allows museum visitors to feel first-hand the effects of aging. Genworth "brand ambassador" Candace Hammer, who narrated one demonstration of the aging suit, said the show's aim is to build empathy and awareness of the challenges elderly people face in everyday situations. That includes everything from joints so stiff you cannot get the breakfast cereal off the shelf to trying to talk to someone in a noisy restaurant when a neurological condition known as aphasia sends words bouncing around in your head. Ultimately that understanding may spark families to start conversations with 75 million baby boomers in the United States approaching retirement, nearly one-quarter of the population, about long-term care and how to pay for it, said a statement from Genworth, which sells long-term care insurance. "In our culture, we revere youth and beauty, so this is opening up the channels to have the 'let's talk' conversation," Hammer said. "It's not shameful that you should need care." There are limits to how deeply the suit immerses the wearer in the aging experience since it cannot simulate the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, the difficulty of urinating or not urinating, the trauma of Alzheimer's disease and dementia and so many other of the other miseries that can be hallmarks of aging. Still, even feeling just part of aging's toll on the body had a dramatic effect not just on the volunteers who wore the suit but on audience members as well. Robert Richards, 74, a retired publishing executive from Madison, New Jersey, said he now understood why his older golfing partners moved slowly. "I'll be more patient when I'm waiting for them to swing. Sometimes you think, 'Can't you just get up there and do it?!'" said Richards, who has had one hip replaced, suffers partial hearing loss and wears contact lenses. With him was his granddaughter, 8-year-old Maggie Richards of Mahwah, New Jersey, who said the "really cool" exhibit would change her behavior, too. "You think old people are weirdos but then you understand that they don't see you and they can't hear you," she said. "I'm going to give them more time to understand what to do. I'll say, 'Can you please move?' Instead of, 'Get out of the way!'"

News Article
Site: http://news.yahoo.com/science/

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — The Force is strong at Liberty Science Center this Presidents Day weekend. "Star Wars" remixes and tribute songs filled the air as crowds of dressed-up fans and their parents (and children) packed into the learning center in New Jersey Friday to kick off "Science, Sabers and Star Wars," a celebration of the movies' world. The event runs from Friday (Feb.12) through Monday (Feb.15), and visitors who dress up get $5 off the price of admission. Once there, they can train to be a Jedi, design a droid, blast rockets at the Death Star, meet R2-D2, and even see arcs of electricity pulsate to the beat in a "Star Wars"-themed Tesla Coil show — all activities aimed at teaching a bit of science with the movies' help. ['Star Wars and the Power of Costume' Exhibition: Gallery] "We're able to marry something people like anyway — and, of course, that's their enthusiasm for 'Star Wars' — with actually going a bit into the science behind it," Paul Hoffman, Liberty Science Center president and CEO, told Space.com. "We need[ed] activities that have science in them, we need ones that we can move lots of people through, we need ones that will be interesting for the spectators even though they're not doing it — it's fun to see people try to shoot down the Death Star, or fly a drone." Most of the activities are clustered together on the center's second floor, with crowds packing in  to fly a mini Millennium Falcon, build a lightsaber, construct Death-Star-bound rockets, learn about holograms and plasma and even show off a Wookie call in a contest. Visitors practice impromptu saber fights in the back, and stormtroopers, Jedi knights and Mandalorian warriors weave in and out, posing for photos. (A life-size R2-D2 also offers a more stationary photo opportunity.) "It's good seeing adults smile, […] reliving their childhood," one of the Mandalorians told Space.com. He's a part of the Mandalorian Mercs — a group who wears homemade costumes to events to raise funds for children's charities. Stormtroopers from the 501st Legion and Jedi from Empire Saber Guild — similar charity organizations — join the Mercs on the floor. "The younger children, they just light up — when they're not running away," he added. There's one other activity attendees can pursue, although it's not in the program. In 2007, a staff member hid a secret "Star Wars" "Easter egg" somewhere in the science center. Now, a series of clues will lead inquisitive guests to the little-known interactive feature, hidden right inside one of the exhibits. Anyone who locates the Easter egg will be "experientially richly rewarded," Hoffman said. (At the time of this writing, Space.com had not located the Easter egg, but we're going to try again later.) Hoffman estimated at least 10,000 people will make their way through the exhibits and special "Star Wars" activities over the course of the weekend.  "That's what's fun about it," he said. "It really is a party, and to be able to celebrate with people that have the same enthusiasms you do, in this case 'Star Wars,' is a pretty fun thing." Copyright 2016 SPACE.com, a Purch company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Gwiazdowski R.A.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Gillespie S.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Weddle R.,Liberty Science Center | Elkinton J.S.,University of Massachusetts Amherst
Annals of the Entomological Society of America | Year: 2011

North American tiger beetles (Cicindela spp. L.) have been reared in the laboratory for more than a century, and here we summarize the relevant literature to develop a general rearing protocol. We used this protocol to experimentally overwinter adults in the laboratory and observe variation in oviposition and fecundity among several species. Overwintering experiments, involving five North East North American Cicindela species with spring-fall life histories-Cicindela repanda (Dejean), Cicindela hirticollis (Say), Cicindela purpurea (Olivier), Cicindela scutellaris (Say), and Cicindela tranquebarica (Herbst) -demonstrated that both a long cooldown (20 to 4°C by a degree a day) and a short photoperiod (8:16 [L:D] h) maximized survival and minimized overwintering weight loss, which varied between species and sex. Observations of oviposition, larval abundance and larval development involving five Cicindela species with summer life histories revealed that Cicindela punctulata (Olivier) produced more first-instar larvae than Cicindela abdominalis (F.), Cicindela dorsalis dorsalis (Say), Cicindela puritana (Horn), or Cicindela unipunctata (F.) and that high mortality due to accidental desiccation may be overcome by rearing larvae individually in tubes rather than in bins. We also present a first account of larval rearing of the federally threatened species C. puritana and the northern Martha's Vineyard population of the federally threatened species C. d. dorsalis. Notably, C. d. dorsalis produced fewer larvae than more common species reared in this study. We conclude that rearing large numbers of larvae is feasible with endangered as well as common species and we propose future improvements for rearing as part of conservation efforts. © 2011 Entomological Society of America. Source

News Article | April 1, 2016
Site: http://www.nytimes.com/pages/technology/index.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

An exhibit at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City uses data-collecting gear to simulate the vision, hearing and mobility of an 85-year-old person.

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