February 14 and 15, 2020

February 14 and 15, 2020

**All of the following scheduled events (except where noted) will occur at GVSU's Pew Campus, in the DeVos Center. The Grand Rapids Public Museum will be showing the new documentary Roger B. Chaffee: Aviator Ad Astra throughout the day as well (free with admission to the museum).

10:00 a.m. - On-Site Registration

11:00 a.m. Keynote: New Horizons: Exploring the Icy Heart of Pluto and Beyond

Start your Valentine's Day with a talk about Pluto's icy heart.... And the rest of this amazing celestial body. Alice Bowman, the Missions Operations Manager for the New Horizons project based at the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab will talk about the beautiful world of Pluto, including once mysterious qualities now better known to us because of the amazing photographs taken by the New Horizons probe. Her presentation is also our way of marking the 90th anniversary of Pluto's discovery by Clyde Tombaugh, who first identified it on February 18th, 1930. Bowman will also discuss additional discoveries by New Horizons, such as trans-Neptunian object Arrokoth, since its visit to Pluto in 2015

Bowman's talk, which is free and open to the public, will allow the audience to transcend time and space to get a good close look at our distant Kuiper Belt neighbor.  "New Horizons: Exploring the Icy Heart of Pluto and Beyond" will take place in the Loosemore Auditorium at 11 a.m. on Friday, February 14th, 2020. 

12 p.m. - 12:30 p.m. Break

During the 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. break, we encourage you to grab a quick lunch in one of our nearby venues on the Pew campus (Erbert & Gerbert's Sandwiches and Soups, Grille Works, and Starbucks are nearby in Building C) or bring your own lunch. Pressed for time? We encourage you to bring your lunch along to the presentations in Session One - we'll make them true "brown bag" sessions

Breakout Sessions and 2:00 p.m. Plenary Session

Mark Schwartz speaks at Roger That! 2018

Archaeologist Mark Schwartz, Roger That! 2018

12:30 p.m.- 1:00 p.m. - Breakout Session One (Brown bag session - feel free to bring your lunch)

Science Track: Brent Nowak, Grand Valley State University, Engineering, "Water – Ubiquitous yet fragile"

Society Track: Deana L. Weibel, Grand Valley State University, Anthropology and Religious Studies, "Ablutions Without Water and the Hidden Mezuzah: The Modification of Religious Rituals While Traveling in Outer Space"

1:15 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. - Breakout Session Two

Science Track: Elena Lioubimtseva, Grand Valley State University, Geography: "Global Climate Change and Earth Observations"

Society Track:  Bill Ryan, Grand Valley State University, Music, Theatre and Dance: "Contact Light: A Music Composition Celebrating Space"

Aquarius Logo

2:00 p.m.- 2:45 p.m. - Plenary Session: "Aquarius Project: Looking at space through Lake Michigan"

Plenary Session, Loosemore Auditorium: "Aquarius Project: Looking at space through Lake Michigan


Dr. Mark Hammergren – Astronomer Adler Planetarium – Head scientist for the Aquarius Project

Chris Bresky – Programs Manager Citizen Science | Teen Programs – Adler Planetarium

Dr. Phil Willink - Senior Marine Research Biologist – Aquarius Project

Leila Makdisi – Education Coordinator – Museum of Science and Industry Chicago

Sara Raposo - Education Coordinator – Museum of Science and Industry Chicago

The Aquarius Project, led by the Adler Planetarium, is the first-ever teen-driven underwater meteorite hunt. It aims to recover fragments of a 600-pound meteor that broke apart in the atmosphere above Wisconsin, streaked through the sky, and landed in Lake Michigan on February 6, 2017. The project will be used to discuss ways of engaging varied audiences through initiatives that combine hands-on, learning-by-doing, and citizen science perspectives, focusing on an outreach program, designed by the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago.


3:00 p.m.- 3:30 p.m. - Breakout Session Three

Science Track: Ripla Arora, Michigan State University, Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences: "The 3D Womb: Lessons from Earth and Predictions for Space"

Society Track:  Timothy Evans, Grand Valley State University, Biology: "Houston, we have a botanist! My 45-day simulated space mission at NASA's Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA)"

3:45 p.m.- 4:15 p.m. - Breakout Session Four

Science Track: Lawrence Molnar, Michaela Blain, Sarah Whitten, and Lauren Henderson, Calvin University, Physics and Astronomy: "Bowling Pins in Space"

Society Track:  Glen Swanson, Roger B. Chaffee Scholarship Fund, History: "The Making of an Enterprise: How NASA, the Smithsonian and the Aerospace Industry of the 1960s helped create Star Trek"

4:30 p.m.- 5:30 p.m. Reception and viewing of Design That! design challenge entries

Hors d'oeuvres will be served while event guests investigate the Design That! design challenge entries submitted by local 4th-8th graders.

5:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. Keynote Address: "The Way of Water: Essential, Engaged, Energetic, Adaptable, Cohesive, Transparent, Creative, Flowing, Synergistic, Multidimensional, Unbeatable and Beautiful" (Loosemore Auditorium)

Roger That! 2020 welcomes "storied" astronaut Dr. Story Musgrave, one of the most accomplished astronauts to ever fly in space. Dr. Musgrave's presentation, "The Way of Water: Essential, Engaged, Energetic, Adaptable, Cohesive, Transparent, Creative, Flowing, Synergistic, Multidimensional, Unbeatable and Beautiful," will tie his life experiences to his six NASA shuttle missions, his incredible education, and his deep love of nature. Since retiring from NASA he has continued to soar in life, flying and making aircraft, working with Walt Disney imagineering, enjoying time with his family, teaching science, design and aviation, and so much more.  

Story Musgrave's 5:30 p.m. presentation, "The Way of Water: Essential, Engaged, Energetic, Adaptable, Cohesive, Transparent, Creative, Flowing, Synergistic, Multidimensional, Unbeatable and Beautiful," is free, open to the public, and held at GVSU's Loosemore Auditorium. 


6:30 p.m.- 7:15 p.m. Informal Networking

After Story Musgrave's talk, we offer a chance to informally converse, network, and discuss the keynote with our presenters, organizers and other guests. Hors d'oeuvres will be provided.

7:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. Ticketed Dinner (Optional)

Following Story Musgrave's talk and a half hour of informal networking, a ticketed dinner (tickets $25 each, seats are limited) will take place in the Rogue Room at the Grand Rapids Holiday Inn. Dinner tickets (purchase on this page or contact Deana Weibel at (616) 331-3346) will include admission to "Cookies and the Cosmos" at the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, an event that will feature cookies, punch, iced tea and the planetarium show "Space School," about how underwater training at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Texas and at the NEEMO space station analog in Florida prepare astronauts for space. Registration will continue through February 9, 2020, but dinner tickets may sell out before that date. 

Roger That! sugar cookies

9:00 p.m. "Cookies and the Cosmos," Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium, GRPM

Ticketed dinner guests are encouraged to continue the Roger That! festivities at the Chaffee Planetarium, where cookies, punch and iced tea will be served and guests will enjoy a showing of "Space School". Dinner tickets include admission to Cookies and the Cosmos.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Come to the Grand Rapids Public Museum to enjoy:

"Farm Kid to Trauma Surgeon to Rocketman and Way Beyond: Excellence, Exploration, and Evolution" presented by guest speaker Astronaut Story Musgrave  (11:00 a.m. - Free with museum admission. Find more information at grpm.org)

10:00am to 5:00pm

  • Learn from student-submitted projects designing solutions for the future of space exploration.
  • Watch a planetarium show including an introductory history of Roger B. Chaffee and featured presentations highlighting space exploration
    • 11:00 a.m. - One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure

      12:00 p.m. - Escher’s Universe

      1:00 p.m. - Space School

      2:00 p.m. - Habitat Earth

      3:00 p.m. - Under Frozen Skies

      4:00 p.m. - Dark Side: The Light Show

  • See museum artifacts related to space, space travel, and Roger B. Chaffee.
  • Enjoy many other family-friendly activities related to space, including:
    • Golden Record Activity -  Introduction created by planetarium about Voyager two - one staff and one vol.  Guests can learn more about the Voyager mission to attempt communications with possible life forms in space and determine what information would be important for you to share with an alien lifeform.  
    • Paper Airplane and Jet Propulsion Activity
    • Underwater ROV with Mark Gleason - guests will use pvc pipes, foam noodles, and small submersible motors to create their own underwater ROV that they can test in a tank full of water.  Learn about underwater discovery and the important role that Remote Operated Vehicles play in underwater exploration.
    • KDL Mission Read program - An out-of-this-world reading program for k-3d graders with prizes!  This on-going program will be showcased at the Public Day of Roger That! Additionally KDL will host a table with STEM related activities. 
    • KISD - Robotics Activities
    • YETI - Something amazing and fun!! -YETI is developing a multi-user kids experience called Space Port Michigan focused on showing how technology + community will help us reach the stars
    • Roger Chaffee and Space related artifacts from the Museum’s Collection
    • Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry - Citizen Science project looking at Space from Lake Michigan. Sharing a project they are working with Adler Planetarium to discover meteorite samples that fell in Lake Michigan. The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and the Aquarius Project, the first-ever teen-driven underwater meteorite hunt project, led by the Adler Planetarium, is going to run a hands-on and citizen science program by doing initial tests on potential meteorites and water samples. The activity’s tasks will include: logging real data on water quality and sediment; exploring the aquatic environment of Lake Michigan; and predicting how chemical properties of water impact preservation, using real samples collected by the Adler’s teens from the bottom of Lake Michigan.
    • GVSU Padnos College of Engineering will host different activities including origami fish, Hydrophobic Sand (A.K.A Space Sand) which is applied nanotechnology and possibly planting seeds in water beads.
    • Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association will have telescopes for guests to look at the day time sky as well as planispheres to make and take.
    • Lunar Lakers Team - GVSU Engineering Team (one table)
    • GVSU Physics Department showcase - students from the physics department will do hands on activities (one table)


Astronaut Story Musgrave will announce the winners of the Roger That! 2020 Design That! Design Challenge following his presentation.

Page last modified January 8, 2022