NISE 2022 Featured Speakers
Mei-Li HeySection Head, Cryocooler Manufacturing at Northrop Grumman Space Systems
Mei-Li spent the first five years of her career as a Mechanical Design Engineer on the James Webb Space Telescope supporting the Ground Systems Engineering Team. Her role on JWST was to design equipment to aid in the Integration, Test and Launch (IT&L) of the telescope, and she was part of the team that traveled to French Guiana to see it off at launch.
Mei-Li is also Co-Founder and President of Atwero, a nonprofit organization based out of Uganda, which designs and fabricates pit-latrine assistive devices to increase sanitation for persons with disabilities. She is passionate about her design engineering background to advocate for the consideration of underserved communities when designing the world around us, and she believes that choosing a career in STEM is a great way to make positive change.
Mei-Li is excited to return to the area and talk to science teachers about her experience working on the James Webb Space Telescope in her presentation: Into the Unknown: NASA's James Webb Space Telescope
Nico CarverLibrarian and YouTube Personality
Nico is a librarian at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) by day and a dedicated astrophotographer and YouTuber by night. At the CfA, Nico is the lead on a program that partners with public library communities to build and operate satellite ground stations. He works with these libraries to develop STEM activities using low-cost space technology.
His current passion outside of work is helping beginners get started with astrophotography through detailed videos on his YouTube channel. Nico wants to help anyone with an interest get started taking photos of the night sky, and enjoys figuring out very low-cost approaches including smartphone astrophotography. Nebula Photos, is one of the top astrophotography channels on YouTube and has almost 12 million views and almost 150,000 subscribers.
Nico will be giving a 2 hour workshop on "Capturing Star Trails with a Smartphone". This will be limited to 25 attendees with pre-registration required.
He will also be giving a presentation titled "What is astrophotography and why does it matter?" The session will discuss the history of astrophotography, its importance to our modern understandings of the universe, and introduce the audience to the current state of amateur astrophotography including resources to help students get started.
Dr. Carol K. BakerNGSS Writer, ISA Cohort Leader, and NGSS-Aligned Curr. & Asmt. Consultant
Dr. Carol Baker was one of forty-one individuals chosen nationwide to be a member of the writing team for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Carol conducts large-scale workshops for K-12 teachers and administrators about NGSS and has presents at conferences around the country. She currently works with schools and districts on NGSS-aligned curriculum, lessons, and assessments.
Carol worked with Pearson on the creation of a science textbook series called Elevate Science, serving as the lead consultant for the project. The series is now owned by Savvas Learning Company. Prior to this, she was filmed by McGraw Hill for a series of brief instructional videos about NGSS; these videos are available for viewing on McGraw Hill’s website.
She will be presenting NGSS Refresh for experienced teachers who would like a quick review of NGSS. This will be a fast-paced, jam-packed presentation! She will also be presenting with Dr. Lauren Rentfro on What's a Cluster: The Illinois Science Assessment (ISA).