Middle and high school students build rockets from kits, paint them, and bring them to Syracuse University’s Skytop field the first Saturday in June for launching. Teams are judged on the quality of their construction, knowledge of the subject, how well they estimated their trajectory, and whether or not their “eggstronaut” survived its ride into the sky.
Awards are given in two categories: junior for grades 4 through 8 and senior for grades 9 through 12. The launches are fun to watch and the general public is invited to attend this free event.
TACNY Sweet Science Series at the MOST presents Volcanoes, Fault Zones, and Life in Extreme Environments: The Alien World of Mid-Ocean Ridges with Jeffrey Karson, Department of Earth Sciences, Syracuse University.
Although out of sight, more than a mile beneath the surface of the oceans, the world-encircling seafloor mountain range known as the mid-ocean ridge system is the site of most of the volcanic activity on Earth. Heat from seafloor volcanoes on mid-ocean ridges drives “hydrothermal” fluid circulation through cracks in the crust beneath the seafloor. During this circulation, chemical reactions cause changes in both seawater and the rocks of the oceanic crust, changing the composition of seawater globally and creating mineral deposits on and beneath the seafloor. Hydrothermal outflow at seafloor geysers provide the nutrients for exotic life forms that have developed without sunlight and under the crushing pressure of the overlying ocean. These features combine to create an other-worldly environment right on our own planet that may be models for life on other planetary bodies.
Jeffrey Karson is a Professor of Geology in the Department of Earth Sciences at Syracuse University. His research focuses on fault zones and volcanic processes on the mid-ocean ridge system, the world-encircling, seafloor mountain chain where lithosphere plates are pulled apart and where most of the volcanic activity on Earth occurs. To better understand these processes, he has conducted numerous investigations on the deep seafloor using small submarines, remotely operated vehicles and autonomous vehicles. He has linked these studies to investigations of on-land terranes where analogous processes can be studied in more detail, for example, Iceland and the East African Rift System. He is the co-author of a comprehensive overview of processes along the mid-ocean ridge system entitled “Discovering the Deep: A Photographic Atlas of the Seafloor and Oceanic Crust” (2015, Cambridge University Press). Professor Karson and sculptor Robert Wysocki are the co-founders of the Syracuse Lava Project, for the study of lava flows similar to those erupted on mid-ocean ridges, Iceland, Hawaii, and other planetary bodies.