NOAA-CREST West K-12 Student Research

Welcome to M.Y. S.P.A.C.E.

The International Collaborative High School Research Initiative of the
Satellites & Education Conference

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  • M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. annual meeting at Sat Ed Con XXVI, CSULA, August 3
  • Touring meteorology instruments California Institute of Technology
  • Receiving update on remotely sensed aerosol research at Cal Tech
  • The Stern Math & Science High School Team - Los Angeles, California
  • Making new international friends
  • The Xiamen Hubin High School Team - Xiamen, Fujian, China
  • Team building social activities
  • The Burlington County Institute of Technology Team - Medford, New Jersey
  • Combining local school research for the M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. annual report
  • The Towers School Team - Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom
  • Polishing the combined annual report to the conference
  • Rehearsing the annual report presentation
  • Presenting annual research report to Satellites & Education Conference





M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. Schools Around the Globe

world map of M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. school locationsCSULAPhiladelphiaMedfordMiamiAshfordUmlaziXiamen

Click map location for M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. school information

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About M.Y. S.P.A.C.E.

Multi National Youth Studying Practical Applications of Climatic Events

M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. (Multinational Youth Studying Practical Applications of Climatic Events) is an international collaboration of high school students engaged in self-selected research projects on the local impact of global environmental issues. Students work with their own, trained, Teacher Leaders at their school sites using both locally generated and satellite-based data with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Teams from each school meet at the annual Satellites & Education Conference to discover global trends in their collective data and present their findings. Students learn and practice techniques of scientific investigation; methods of data processing, analysis and interpretation; leadership; and effective communication. They work with NOAA and NASA scientists and engineers, experience university campus life, and can apply for special internships at selected university research centers such as the Center for Energy and Sustainability (CE&S) and the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Marine Ecosystems & Climate (CIMEC), both at Cal State LA.

The M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. Program is an initiative of the Satellites & Education Conference which is produced by the non-profit Satellite Educators Association. It is administered from the campus of California State University, Los Angeles. The program is supported by NOAA, NASA, and the NOAA-CREST West grant. It is aligned with NOAA goals of building excitement about careers in science, math, engineering and technology. NOAA-CREST (Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center) is a consortium of five colleges and universities. Cal State LA is the only consortium member on the west coast and the only one with an internationally active K-12 research program.

M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. Coordinator: Michael Holst - Chehalis, Washington

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M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. History

  • 2013
    "Environmental Impacts of Particulate Aerosols"
    Four M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. school teams participated this year in the face of reduced funding from the NOAA-CREST West grant. New teams were welcomed from Los Angeles and New Jersey as they joined the teams from England and China. The teams from Florida, Pennsylvania, and South Africa were not able to send representatives this year. All school teams studied the local impact of aerosol particulates defined as fire smoke, wind-borne dust, and volcanic ash plumes. Following activity patterns and protocols established in past years, each team shared its local data and conclusions with other teams early in the conference week followed by a tour of California Institute of Technology and engineering labs at Cal State LA. Local data sets focused on global mechanisms for distribution of particulate aerosols, the effect of increased particulate aerosols on the formation and intensity of North Atlantic hurricanes, the relationship of aerosol optical density to rainfall and sandstorms in Fujian, and the impacts of the Icelandic volcano eruption of May 2010 on Europe and the Alaskan volcano eruption of May 2013 on Los Angeles basin. Results were subtle but discernible: in the presence of particulate aerosols, hurricanes of lesser intensity form; rainfall and sandstorm frequency and intensity increase with higher aerosol optical density; the socioeconomic effects of volcanic eruptions can be temporarily severe within reach of the ash plume; particulates must reach the jet stream, a minimum altitude of 6 km (20,000 ft), to have a global impact. All particulates in this study reached a maximum altitude below 6 km. This research has only scratched the surface. More study is needed.

  • 2012
    "Global Impacts of Ocean Temperature Changes"
    With the assistance of a new, multi-year NOAA-CREST West grant, M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. project members made significant improvements to their collaborative process of scientific inquiry. First, the schools reached agreement on the overarching theme for their 2012 research before leaving the annual conference in August 2011. The guiding topic for the 2012 research was the local impacts of large scale catastrophic events. Next, each school decided which local impacts it would study and the procedures it would employ. The research for each school site became a local project that spanned most of the school year. At the conference in 2012, member school teams shared their local methods, data, and conclusions with other teams to discover common threads and begin the process of one whole team constructing its annual report based on the local research of the contributing members. This process was first planned in 2005 but not realized until this year. The annual report was presented at the closing session of the Satellites & Education Conference at Cal State LA in August. Tours and seminars added this year included an engineering focus and a private, secure, social networking site set up specifically to enhance communication between M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. member students and teachers during the school year. The 2013 research focus will be local impacts of large scale movement of particulate aerosols, especially Saharan (and other) dust, wild fire smoke and ash, and volcanic plumes.

  • 2011
    "Hurricanes and Microbursts: Using Satellites to Understand, Predict, Recover"
    Funds were sufficient to support travel to the conference for teams from Southern California and Florida and added a new team from Northern California. No international teams participated this year. Although the research topic was agreed upon mid-year, most of the research was accomplished during the construction of the final report at the Satellites & Education Conference in August. Based on the possibility of new grant support from NOAA-CREST, the project members decided on a research topic for 2012 before leaving the conference in 2011 and began planning how to implement the research at their school sites during the coming school year. The 2012 topic was the local impacts of large scale catastrophic events.

  • 2010
    Continued funding cuts again prevented a gathering of M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. teams for an annual report and conference. Again, teams continued local research projects at their individual school sites. A M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. Coordinator was appointed who facilitated greater communication between the school teams throughout the year mostly via e-mail.

  • 2009
    Although funding cuts prevented bringing the M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. teams together for an annual meeting and report, individual school teams continued research on topics of local interest and using satellite-based data.

  • 2008
    "How Do Fluctuations in Ocean Temperature Affect Coral Reefs & Marine Life in General?"
    The international scope of the M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. project continued. The team narrowed its research to the more concrete question of changing sea surface temperature and ocean hot spots. They were especially interested in coral reef bleaching in identified ocean hot spots and how that affected marine life surrounding the changing coral reefs.

  • 2007
    "Impacts of Changing Oceans"
    With some help from the remnants of the NASA grant, the international scope of the project was reinstated. Participating were school teams from California, Florida, the United Kingdom and a new team from Xiamen, Fujian Province, People's Republic of China. Research again explored the possibility of a high school-based global ocean observing system.

  • 2006
    "Distribution of Earth's Energy Through the Oceans and Atmosphere"
    While the NASA grant was not canceled, funding beyond the first year was cut due to higher level budget rearrangements. Only U.S. schools in California, New Jersey, and Washington attended. Research continued to focus on oceans and energy. The JPL tour was still an annual highlight.

  • 2005
    "Energy, Climate, and Life on Earth"
    With support from a new grant from NASA, the M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. project again became international in scope. Attending were the British team from Dover as well as school teams from California, New Jersey, and representatives from schools in Florida and Washington. With the promise of at least four more years of grant support, research discussions centered on expanding M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. to develop a high school-based global ocean observing system.

  • 2004
    "Hurricane Charley"
    This year the Satellites & Education Conference and annual meeting of M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. moved from March to August. Hurricane Charley, a category 4 cyclone and the largest storm to hit Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, slammed the southeastern coastal states the week before the conference. Many of the M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. students and teachers brought their personal storm stories to the conference directly from hurricane affected areas. The team's research focused on preparation for and damage caused by severe storms and included new photographs from areas wrecked by the storm a week before. The presentation was very timely and intensely personal while delivering a strong emphasis on the need to take emergency preparedness seriously.

  • 2003
    "Using GIS to Analyze Local Climatic Events"
    The JPL tour was a popular success. Due to funding difficulties, the international teams were not able to attend.

  • 2002
    "The Effect of Dust Storms on Climate in the Mediterranean"
    This was the historic first meeting of the M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. team. Attending were representatives from schools in California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and from Dover in the United Kingdom. The British students brought official, signed greetings to the conference from then Prime Minister Tony Blair. The team members were treated to a tour of NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Then they decided on a research topic, divided the task and group into smaller, more specific lots, and constructed an overall report presented at the closing session of the Satellites & Education Conference at Cal State LA in March 2002. The M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. name and logo, developed by Awesome Clip Art for Kids, was unveiled and presented to the team.

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California State University, Los Angeles

California State University, Los Angeles

CSLA Charter College of Education hosts M.Y. S.P.A.C.E.

Cal State LA is home to the Satellites & Education Conference and its high school level global environmental research component, the M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. program and has done so since 2002. The annual conference and M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. are housed in the Charter College of Education (CCOE) at Cal State LA with support from the College of Natural and Social Sciences and the College of Engineering, Computer Science and Technology. The College of Engineering, Computer Science and Technology is home to the Center for Energy & Sustainability while the College of Natural and Social Sciences hosts components of the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Marine Ecosystems and Climate, both NOAA-CREST West research partners.

Satellites & Education Conference Coordinator:
Paula Arvedson, Ph.D. - Cal State LA CCOE

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Ashford, Kent, United KingdomThe Towers School and Sixth Form Centre

The Towers School and Sixth Form Centre


2013 Research Focus:

The effects of volcanic aerosol particulates on regional and global climate change

Teacher Leader: Simon Cracknell

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Miami, Florida, United States

Carrollton School

Carrollton School


2013 Research Focus:

The effects of Saharan dust on the Miami environment

Teacher Leader: Alan Crockwell

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Xiamen, People's Republic of China

Xiamen Hubin High School

Xiamen Hubin High School


2013 Research Focus:

Analysis of atmospheric aerosol optical thickness over the Xiamen area with special interest in the impact of aerosols on rainfall

Teacher Leader: Song Xiaohong

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Medford, New Jersey, United States

Burlington County Institute of Technology

Burlington County Institute of Technology


2013 Research Focus:

The impact of particulate aerosols on tropical cyclone intensity

Teacher Leader: Peter Dorofy

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Overbrook High School

Overbrook High School


While unable to send representatives in 2013, participation of a 2014 team is anticipated.

Teacher Leader: Anne Cherian

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Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, Republic of South Africa

Zwelibanzi High School

Zwelibanzi Secondary School


The Satellites & Education Conference and the M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. Program welcome the research contributions from Zwelibanzi Secondary School in Umlazi and its partner, the Ethekwini Municipality, in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, Republic of South Africa. While unable to send representatives in 2013, participation of a 2014 team is anticipated.

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Los Angeles, California, United States

Stern Math & Science High School

Stern Math & Science High School


The Satellites & Education Conference and the M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. Program welcome the inaugural team from Stern Math & Science High School located on the campus of Cal State LA. The team is studying aerosol particulates in the Los Angeles basin especially Alaskan volcanic ash.

Teacher Leader: May Cheung

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How to join the M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. Research Family

Multinational Youth Studying Practical Applications of Climatic Events

Students grades 9-12 interested in starting a M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. research team must talk with their teachers. Teachers who are serious about engaging their students in on-going environmental research using satellites and satellite data can start their own student teams. To join the M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. collaborative, the teacher must register for and attend the Satellites & Education Conference without students the year prior to bringing a student team. The teacher will receive a full orientation to the M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. program, meet with other M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. teachers and students, and shadow the students during their four day experience in addition to enjoying the benefits of conference attendance. For more information, please contact the Conference Coordinator.

Satellites & Education Conference Coordinator:
Paula Arvedson, Ph.D. - parveds@calstatela.edu

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California State University, Los Angeles

Web site questions and comments: crest.west.web@gmail.com

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M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. logo ©2002 TRB. Used with permission.
Stern MASS photo courtesy of Office of Public Affairs, California State University, Los Angeles. Used with permission.
Other schools photos provided by the schools and used with permission.
Last updated December 27, 2013. All rights reserved.