----- Original Message -----
From: Rhodan, Maya - Time U.S. [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2016 10:05 PM
To: Gleeson, James
Subject: Dr. Biden travel pool report #5
At around 9:22pm, Dr Biden's tour moved along to a "robonautics" station where students from local schools showed off their skills. The highlight was a small, flat robot (think roomba) that shot gray, yellow and blue basketballs into a makeshift wooden hoop.
A student explained the purpose of the robot to Dr. Biden and Mark Kelly. Unfortunately, the pool and the tour were on opposite sides of the "court."
Your pooler could, however, make out Mr. Kelly remarking that the robot is "Not as good as Steph Curry" as it shot a couple of free throws.
Dr. Biden and Mr Kelly were then invited to try their hands at operating the robot, to which she replied "I haven't driven in 8 years" before entering the court--which is a gray carpeted pin with several white tape lines and wooded ramps.
Dr. Biden and Mr. Kelly stood behind a black laptop that was placed beside an additional flat screen that served as the robot's control center. A student described the control station as "pretty straight forward" but Dr Biden looked a bit apprehensive. Devinda D., 18, who attends clear horizons early college high school and Ethan R., 17, who attends clear springs high school were the two students who explained how it the robot worked. The "straightforward" line is attributable to Devinda. No last names were provided to the pooler.
After a while, Mr. Kelly took hold of a controller and made a shot. The crowd erupted in cheers when the ball went in the hoop at close range.
"It looks so easy!" dr Biden said
A student traveling with Dr Biden also took the controller, but didn't take a shot.
Dr. John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, also grabbed the controller and took a shot. His also went in at close range.
Before departing the court, Kelly, Biden and Holdren shook the students' hands and thanked them.
They then moved along to a "robonaut" which is essentially a robotic centaur. "Astronaut" up top, robot down below. The robonauts are designed to work alongside humans to expand astronauts ability to construct and discover. The robonaut was positioned right outside of the court, near where the pool was holding as the station was explained to Dr. biden's tour group.
Mr. Kelly rubbed the head of a robonaut with a gold helmet. Before moving along, the legs of another robonaut (this was was being hoisted from a blue beam) started moving. It was surprisingly graceful.
"Can it shake hands?" Mark Kelly asked.it could not. Only the legs moved. A student touched its legs, as did Dr. Biden.
At 9:51pm, the students posed for pics with an astronaut before stopping by a station called "Orion." While they were briefed, Dr. Biden, who is a community college professor, met with members of NASA's community college program called NCAS, which stands for NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars.
On background from the Office of the Vice President:
NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) is the agency’s response to the President’s call in the 2013 CoSTEM report to enhance the STEM experience of undergraduate students. NCAS encourages community college STEM students to complete a 2 year degree or transfer to a 4 year university in the pursuit of a NASA-related career. Students learn about NASA missions and research in a 5-week online learning experience and submit a final project. Successful scholars are invited to a 4-day workshop at a NASA field center where they engage in engineering design competitions. Lead by NASA engineers, students are immersed in NASA’s culture of inclusion and innovation, unique facilities, and diverse workforce. NCAS provides training on resume building and how to continue participation in the NASA pipeline. 5% of NASA’s spring 2016 interns are NCAS alum. Two alum turned interns and one alum who now works at NASA JSC will be on hand this evening to share their experiences.
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