Center for Educational Outreach Newsletter
Issue: # 5 March, 2013

We hope you're out enjoying the fabulous spring weather. Check out the events happening this coming weekend, like Girl Power and Engineering Challenge or the 10th Annual Physics Fair next month. Don't let your high school students miss out on the scholarship opportunity from Northrop Grumman - application deadline is the end of March.

The Center for Educational Outreach


Opportunities and Events for Students webinar, a STEM-focused website produced at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY), is hosting a webinar at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, featuring Michael McLoughlin, who has led a team of APL engineers in developing the Modular Prosthetic Limb, a robotic arm that is, remarkably, controlled by human thought.  This amazing mechanism was featured in a "60 Minutes" segment in which a 53-year-old woman with a disease that left her quadriplegic demonstrated how she could command the robotic arm to shake hands and pick up a cup of water - all by simply using her mind. If you would like to nominate interested students for membership to Cogito so that they can participate in the webinar, they should email us at Students should be ages 13 to 18 and be interested in STEM..


Northrop Grumman Scholarship
Know a high school senior planning to study engineering in college?  Then make sure they apply for the Northrop Grumman Engineering Scholars Program. Scholarships of $10,000 over the course of four years* ($2,500 a year) will be awarded to selected students. Application deadline is March 31st. More information and a link to the application can be found on the Engineering Scholars site.   


Community Events
Girl Power 2013
DateMarch 17, 2013
Location: APL Kossiakoff Center, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723
Time2:00 pm
Girl Power is an annual expo for middle and high school girls to give them the opportunity to meet and talk with women working in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. Through hands-on activities and demonstrations, the girls can discover new career possibilities and spark an interest in pursuing a STEM major and career.
The list of careers and STEM fields that will be presented at the event is constantly growing and changing but includes aerospace, biotechnology, computer science, engineering, geology, information technology, space, and more.
Parents are welcome to attend with their daughters. Directions to this event can be found here. No registration is required, and the event is free. Parking is also free. For more information, call 443-778-STEM (7836) or e-mail
Engineering Challenge
Location: Maryland Science Center; 2nd Floor outside of the Legg Mason Gallery
Cost: Free with paid admission
Who should attend: Everyone
When: March 16 and 17; 2:00 - 4:00pm

Create a seed-carrying contraption that won't fly too high or fall straight down, but will float just right in our wind tube. This activity is recommended for visitors 8 and up. More information here.
10th Annual Physics Fair
Date: April 13, 2013
Time: 11:00 am to 5:30 pm
Location: JHU Homewood Campus
Experience a Scavenger Hunt ~ Balloon Rocket Contest ~ Over 200 Active Science Demonstrations ~ Liquid Nitrogen Frozen Ice Cream ~ Interactive Astronomy Exhibits and Activities ~ Adventures in Aerospace ~ Hubble Space Telescope Exhibit ~ Phreaky Physics...and much more!

Question: If we are farther away from the sun for our winter and receive less energy from the sun causing so many changes to occur, how come we are also farther away from the sun during the summer season, yet feel a lot hotter temperatures (sun's direct energy)?  


Answer: The distance between the sun and earth has no effect on the seasons we experience. The change in seasons happens because the earth's axis is tilted.  During the year the direction of the tilt determines what season it is. Here is a photo that illustrates that point.   


Notice that when it's winter here in the northern hemisphere, it's summer in the southern hemisphere! If the distance had an effect on the seasons the WHOLE earth would experience the seasons at the same time. In the summertime, the tilt causes the light from the sun to be more direct and also creates longer days. The opposite happens in winter. If you want to see an animation of what happens, here's a video:


It is true that the distance between the earth and sun changes during the year, but the change is very small compared to the total distance between the sun and earth, and here in the northern hemisphere, the earth is closest to the sun in the winter! 


Margaret Hart

Johns Hopkins University


Do you have questions for a professor? Email to get the answer in the next newsletter!


As always, we hope you find this newsletter useful. We'll have lots more information about late spring and summer programs in our next newsletter!


Margaret Hart
Center for Educational Outreach
Who We Are
The Center for Educational Outreach is part of the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Our mission is to inspire and prepare youth, particularly those underrepresented in STEM, to pursue STEM education and careers.
In This Issue
Cogito Webinar
Engineering Scholars
Girl Power!
Engineering Challenge
Physics Fair
Ask the Professor
HRC Logo

On May 4th, 2013 the Center for Educational Outreach is hosting the
Hopkins Robotics Cup, the first Baltimore City Public Schools VEX Robotics Championship. 

All Baltimore City Middle and High Schools with VEX Robotics teams are invited to participate in this exciting event. More information will be provided as the season progresses, but mark your calendars now!

Interested in volunteering? Contact Margaret Strong at
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