February 15 and 16, 2019

Friday, February 15, 2019

**All of the following scheduled events (except where noted) will occur at GVSU's Pew Campus, in the DeVos Center.

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

11:00 a.m. Keynote: Remembering the Future

Our 11 a.m. Keynote Address, which will get Roger That! 2019 underway, is by sculptor J Brett Grill. In 2018 Grill installed an over life-size bronze sculpture of Roger B. Chaffee in Grand Rapids, MI., but he is also well-known for many works on display across the country, including statues at the University of Michigan; Grand Valley State University; the New Hampshire State Library; the USS Gerald R. Ford; Charlotte, NC; and a bronze of Gerald R. Ford displayed in the National Statuary Hall Collection in Washington D.C.

Grill's talk, which is free and open to the public, details the research and creative process behind the new Roger Chaffee sculpture.  "Remembering the Future" will take place in the Loosemore Auditorium at 11 a.m. on Friday, February 15th, 2019. 

12 p.m. - 12:30 p.m. Lunch break

Boxed lunches are available for $6 (you may register and make a purchase on this page) or contact Deana Weibel at (616) 331-3346. There are also other lunch options available at the DeVos Center, including Starbucks, Erbert and Gerbert's (soup and sandwiches), and Grille Works.

12:30 p.m.- 1:20 p.m. - Breakout Session One

Science Track: Mark Staves, Grand Valley State University, Cell and Molecular Biology, “Illuminating the mechanism of plant gravity sensing with blue light”

Society Track: Martin L. Shoemaker, Award-winning science fiction author, “Sense of Wonder: Science and Fiction”

1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m. - Breakout Session Two

Science Track: Sofia Karampagia, Grand Valley State University, Physics: “From Nuclei to Stars”

Society Track:  Vickie Edwards, Western Michigan University, Public Administration: "To Govern Boldly Where No One Has Governed Before"

2:30 p.m.- 3:20 p.m. - Plenary Session: "Looking Up Together: Planetariums in Our Communities"

Plenary Session, Loosemore Auditorium: "Looking Up Together: Planetariums in Our Communities," by Emily Hromi (Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium) and Michelle Larson (Adler Planetarium)

Michelle Larson and Emily Hromi, who manage planetariums on opposite sides of Lake Michigan, will present on the experience of running these unique domes, which combine education with entertainment. They will discuss such topics as the duty of planetariums to provide accurate scientific information to the public, the presentation of controversial topics, planetariums' role in community service, and the need to constantly innovate information and its delivery.


3:30 p.m.- 4:20 p.m. - Breakout Session Three

Science Track: Jared Moore, Grand Valley State University, Computing and Information Systems: “Evolving Robots For Distant Horizons”

Society Track:  Dawn M. Rutecki, GVSU, Liberal Studies and Sherman Horn III, GVSU, Anthropology: “Tracing the Paths of Stars”

4:30 p.m.- 5:20 p.m. - Breakout Session Four

Science Track: Shane Larson, Northwestern University, Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics: “The Once and Future Moon”

Society Track:  Jeff Olenick, Michigan State University, Psychology: "Teams in space: Keeping relationships from turning ICE-y"

5:30 p.m.- 6:20 p.m. Reception and viewing of Design That! design challenge entries and GVSU art exhibit

Light hors d'oeuvres will be served while guests check out the Design That! design challenge entries submitted by local 4th-8th graders and enjoy space-themed art created by GVSU illustration students.

6:30 p.m.- 7:30 p.m. Keynote Address: "eARTh from space" (Loosemore Auditorium)

We are proud to welcome Roger That! 2019's keynote speaker, Nicole Stott. Ms. Stott is an Artist and Astronaut who creatively combines the awe and wonder of her spaceflight experience with her artwork to inspire everyone’s appreciation of our role as crewmates here on spaceship Earth.  She has explored from the heights of outer space to the depths of our oceans.  In awe of what she experienced from these special vantage points, she has dedicated her life to sharing the beauty of Earth from space with others.  She believes sharing these perspectives has the power to increase everyone’s appreciation of and obligation to care for our home planet and each other. She completed two spaceflights and, while training as an "aquanaut" to prepare for space travel, spent 18 days living underwater at the Aquarius undersea habitat.

During her mission to the International Space Station, Ms. Stott painted the first watercolor ever painted in space and, upon her return to Earth, created the Space for Art Foundation. 

7:30 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. Informal Networking

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

8:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. Ticketed Dinner (Optional)

Following Nicole Stott's talk and a half hour of informal networking, a ticketed dinner (ticket prices to be announced, seats are limited) will take place in the Gordon Gallery at the DeVos Center. Dinner tickets (purchase on this page or contact Deana Weibel at (616) 331-3346) will include admission to "Dessert at the Planetarium" at the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, an event that will combine gustatory and visual delights (dessert and a planetarium show). Registration will continue through February 10, 2019, but dinner tickets may sell out before that date. 

9:00 p.m. "Dessert at the Planetarium" and Planetarium Show, Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium, GRPM

Ticketed dinner guests are encouraged to continue the Roger That! festivities at the Chaffee Planetarium, where a special show, including dessert, will take place. Dinner tickets include both the dessert and the show.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Come to the Grand Rapids Public Museum to enjoy:

"Space for Everyone" presented by guest speaker Astronaut Nicole Stott  (11:00 a.m. - Tickets will be available 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
  • See museum artifacts related to space, space travel, and Roger B. Chaffee.
  • Enjoy many other family-friendly activities related to space!


Astronaut Nicole Stott will announce the winners of the Roger That! 2019 Design That! Design Challenge following her presentation.

Page last modified January 8, 2022