February 16 and 17, 2018

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

February 16, 2018

10:30 a.m. - On-Site Registration

11:00 a.m. Keynote: Art/Space: NASA Space Art Program and Beyond

Our 11 a.m. Keynote Address, which will kick off Roger That! 2018, features GVSU Illustration Professors Guin Thompson and Durwin Talon, who will discuss the interpretation of space exploration through various artistic mediums, focusing on the NASA Space Art Program, and built on artists’ ability to respond to, record and communicate NASA’s growing technological and scientific breakthroughs. They will speak about works based in the wonder, tragedy and triumph of exploring our universe. This session will take place in the Loosemore Auditorium and will be free and open to the public. 

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

Boxed lunches will be available for pre-registration soon ($6 each). 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.- 1:10 p.m. - Breakout Session One

Science Track, DEV 138E: Members of The GVSU North Stars Team (Student Panel), Engineering, Grand Valley State University: "GVSU Students’ NASA Experience" 

Society Track, DEV 119E: Joshua Ambrosius, University of Dayton, Political Science: "Bridging the Separation of Church and Space"

1:15 p.m. - 1:55 p.m. - Breakout Session Two

Science Track, DEV 138E: Brad Ambrose, Grand Valley State University, Physics: "Where cognitive science meets space science:  Learning how we learn about the cosmos"

Society Track, DEV 119E: Mark Schwartz, Grand Valley State University, Anthropology: "The Origins of Ancient Astronaut Theories in Archaeology: Popular Culture, Science Fiction, and Pseudoscience"

2:00 p.m.- 2:40 p.m. - Breakout Session Three

Science Track, DEV 138E: Lin van Nieuwstadt, University of Michigan, Engineering: "Sojourner, the little Mars Rover that could"

Society Track, DEV 119E: Brian Lakey, Psychology, Grand Valley State University: "Psychological Factors in Prolonged Space Travel"

2:45 p.m.- 3:25 p.m. - Breakout Session Four

Science Track, DEV 138E: Kristofer Pachla, Grand Valley State University, Regional Math and Science Center: "From NSF to Nobel Prize.  LIGO: The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.”

Society Track, DEV 119E: Panel Discussion (feat. Rachel Anderson, English and Jae Basiliere, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies),Grand Valley State University: "Afrofuturism: The African Diaspora Reimagined"

3:30 p.m.- 4:10 p.m. - Breakout Session Five

Science Track, DEV 138E: Feryal Alayont and David Clark, Grand Valley State University, Mathematics: "Error Correction in Space Communications"

Society Track, DEV 119E: James A. Herrick, Hope College, Communications: "Narrative Propulsion Systems:  The stories that took us to space and the myths that will keep us there"

4:15 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. - Design Challenge Competition

(Separate contest for 5th-6th & 7th-8th grades)

5:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. Open Reception

Light hors d'oeuvres will be available and Design Challenge projects will be available for viewing

6:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. Keynote Address: "An Astronaut's Journey: An Evening with Guy Bluford" (Loosemore Auditorium)

We are very pleased to present Roger That! 2018's keynote speaker, Guion Bluford. Dr. Bluford was the first African-American astronaut to fly in space and completed four Space Shuttle missions. A retired Air Force Colonel, Dr. Bluford holds Masters and Doctoral Degrees in Aerospace Engineering as well as a Masters in Business Administration. He will talk about his work at NASA, the experiences of minorities in the space program, and his memories of traveling in outer space. This event is free and open to the public. 

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

After Dr. Bluford's talk, we offer a chance to informally converse, network, and discuss the keynote with our presenters, organizers and other guests.

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

Following Dr. Bluford's talk and a half hour of informal networking, a ticketed dinner ($20 per person, seats are limited) will take place in the Gordon Gallery at the DeVos Center. Dinner tickets will include a space-themed musical set by GVSU's own a capella group, Euphoria and admission to a special planetarium show following dinner at the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Registration is now open through February 11, 2018.

9:00 p.m. Planetarium Show, Grand Rapids Public Museum

Dinner guests are encouraged to head to the Grand Rapids Public Museum after dinner for a special show at the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium. Dinner tickets include admission to this show.

February 17, 2018

Come to the Grand Rapids Public Museum to enjoy:

"Flying in Space: The Space Shuttle and Beyond" presented by guest speaker Dr. Guion Bluford (Colonel, USAF, Ret.), the first African-American astronaut to go into space  (11:00 a.m. - Tickets will be available at grpm.org).

10am to 3pm

  • 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!


Dr. Bluford will announce the winners of the Roger That! 2018 Design Challenge.

Page last modified January 8, 2022