Science Tuesday, Science Cafe, Explorations Field Trips, Studio i Makerspace,  Explorer Post 1010, & More!

Rockville Science Center Newsletter
December 2017
Quick Calendar
At the Rockville Science Center. 
Our upcoming Calender

Details for these activities are in this newsletter!

Science Tuesday 
at Rockville Senior Center 

December 12
1 pm to 2 pm
Explorations Field Trip
National Cryptologic Museum 

December 15 10 am to 12 pm
Science Cafe 
Check website for location change! (

December  19
7 pm to 8 pm
Studio i Makerspace open Time 

Every Tuesday
7 pm to 9 pm
Check out the Studio i Makerspace 
Group for special activities/classes
Explorer Post meetings

Every Wednesday
6:00 to 9 pm
Mark your Calendar: Science Day 
At Montgomery College
April 22 Noon to 5 pm

Become a member of the Rockville Science Center

Purchase Rockville rewards Cards, at the bottom of the newsletter.

Studio i Makerspace
We have a very busy schedule! 
Check out our other activities on our calendar in the

Location:  Rockville Memorial Public Library
Registration:  May be  required  for some events.

Open Meeting Time

Date: Every Tuesday, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Location:  Studio i Makerspace Room, Rockville Memorial Library,  21 Maryland Ave, Rockville, MD 20850
Just show up and learn about the Studio  i Makerspace

The Makerspace Coder Dojo

Studio i Makerspace is a new public makerspace on the second floor of the Rockville Memorial Library. A makerspace is a community center with tools and materials where people in the community can come to learn, teach and make things. Our makerspace includes robotics, drones, rocketry, amateur radio, and many more activities. Check us out!

Other ongoing activities include Open Time, Microcontrollers 101, Drones and R/C interest Group, Coder Dojo, Space Blimp, and much more. Please check out the calendar at  Studio i Makerspace

December Science Tuesday
To be Announced
Date: Tuesday, December 12, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event: Rockville Science Center, Science Tuesday
Where: Rockville Senior Center, 1150 Carnation Dr, Rockville, MD 20850
Speaker: TBA
Topic: TBA

Please join us. There is a program planned. Speaker to be announced. 

About Science Tuesday

Science Tuesday features an engaging monthly presentation and conversation with a scientist, with each meeting focusing on a different topic. No scientific background is required, just curiosity.  Events are free to attend.

 December  Science Café
Infrared Imaging
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event: Rockville Science Cafe
Where: Note the change in location! Rockville Senior Center, 1150 Carnation Dr, Rockville, MD 20850
Speaker: Dr. Patti Gillespie, Naval Research Laboratory 
Topic: Infrared Imaging ... Seeing it ... or not? 

Please join us this month. More information will follow.

About Science Cafés

Science Cafés are free and open to everyone. They feature a scientist engaging and leading the discussion to encourage conversation, debate, and interaction. 


Please be aware that the location of the December Science Café will  be at the Rockville Senior Center, 1150 Carnation Dr, Rockville, MD 20850. Please check the Rockville Science Center Website for other changes.

December Exploration Field Trip
Guided tour of the National Cryptologic Museum

Date:  Friday, December 15, 2017 
Time   10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Event : Tour of the National Cryptologic Museum 
Tour-guide: Museum Docent
Registration Required for this eventRegister here!

Please note: you must register for this trip. Please register at the link below. 

And you can call 301.580.7190

Attendance on our Exploration Field Trips is open to anyone who is a current member of the Rockville Science Center.

The December Explorations trip is to the National Cryptologic Museum. This special trip will include a guided tour especially for our scientifically minded members.  

The National Cryptologic Museum collection contains thousands of artifacts, including numerous working World War II German Enigma machines and a Navy Bombe used to break it. Displays discuss the history of American cryptology and the people, machines, techniques, and locations concerned. Initially housing NSA artifacts for viewing by employees, the museum quickly developed into a collection of U.S. cryptologic history, with some artifacts dating back to pre- American Revolutionary War.

The Tour
We will meet at the museum's entrance at 10 am. A museum docent will give our group an extended tour with back stories not usually given about the exhibits. 

Please check Google Maps or use your GPS. There is more than one way to go to the museum.  

Take MD 295 North (Balto/Wash Pkwy) OR I-95 North to Rt. 32 East/Ft Meade. Exit onto Canine Road. Turn left at the light onto Colony Seven Road. Follow past the aircraft and Shell station into Museum parking lot.

The Fine Print
You must be a member of the Rockville Science Center to attend this event. This event is free to members. You can sign up for membership to the Rockville Science Center at the event.

About Explorations Field Trips at the Rockville Science Center

Explorations Field Trips offer Rockville Science Center members the chance to take a more in-depth look at the science or technology at work in a particular outdoor location or science/technology-related organization in the Rockville-DC area, and to meet and enjoy the company of other RSC members. Unless specified otherwise, our Explorations Field Trips are open to adults and kids aged 10 and older, with an accompanying adult required for those under 18. You must be a member of the Rockville Science Center to participate in this activity. 

Sponsored Student Programs News

The Rockville Science Center's sponsored student programs are off and running for this school year. We support several programs:

Explorer Post 1010

Explorer Post 1010, has over 40 high school students enrolled in several engineering projects, including robotics, rocketry, and drones. 

The Explorer Post is sponsored by the Rockville Science Center and  participates in the the following youth programs. 

Comments should be directed to

Team America Rocketry Challenge programs are starting up. Rocket launches are scheduled every month through the school year. 
The first major public launch is scheduled for December 9, at the Great Meadow field near the Plains VA.

The FIRST Tech Challenge team is building their competition robot. They are meeting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. 
Their first qualification tournament is December 17 at Walt Whitman High
School. The public is invited to observe the excitement.

Post 1010 has been involved in the Botball Educational Robotics program since 2001. The Botball teams are currently learning the complex programming required to control their autonomous robots. Their first competition is in April 2018.


Other Youth Programs

FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams have formed with the support of the Rockville Science Center and the teams are working diligently on their robots. We are finalizing plans for scrimmages and practice sessions in December. 

We are sponsoring two FLL tournaments, January 6 and January 13, at the Universities at Shady Grove.
The teams start early in the morning but the public is invited from noon to 4pm to witness the competition and excitement.  Comments should be directed to .

The Rockville Science Center is again conducting
Science Camps in summer 2018, to be held at the Bullis School and at the City of Rockville. We will have camps in geology, biology, astronomy, engineering, robotics, and electronics. The camps are focused on the critical growth of older elementary and middle school students. Catalogs will be available in January and registration will run through the Bullis Summer program and Rockville City web sites.

Rocket to Adventure 2017!

Explorer Scouts, from our hands on engineering career program, Post 1010, volunteered at the Boy Scout's "Rocket to Adventure Day". 

This event was to introduce incoming Cub Scouts and their families to the Cub Scout program and see older Scouts and Explorers in action.  Our Explorer Post ran the Rocker Launch area and helped cubs climb the 25 ft. climbing wall. There were other  activities too, including BB shooting, archery, and sling shot target practice. 

We want to thank all the Explores who volunteered. It is wonderful for us to watch our older Explorers just take charge and run with an activity. Thanks also go to Bob Ekman, the Post Adviser. Bob is on the RSC's Board of Trustees. 

Post 1010 is a great group of high school students with interests in computers, robotics, rockets, and engineering, sponsored by the Rockville Science Center. We meet at Johns Hopkins in Rockville Maryland on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings throughout the school year. Members of the Post are developing experience designing and building engineering projects as they explore engineering as a career. Check out our website at

For additional information about Explorer Post 1010, First Lego League, or our other youth programs contact

Volunteer Opportunities at the
Rockville Science Center
We have many volunteer opportunities coming up as our busy season approaches. Volunteering at the RSC gives students an opportunity to earn SSL hours and adults to participate in our outreach to the community. Events coming up are ...

Event Date Public Location
FIRST LEGO League Robotics Qualifiction Tournment
January 6 & 13, 
Universities at Shady Grove
25 adults and 25 teens each day

To volunteer for this event: or email interest to

2018 Maryland High School Science Bowl Competition
January 13, 2018
Montgomery College Rockville Campus
10 Adults

To volunteer for this event: or email interest to

2018 Montgomery County Science Fair Judging
March 9 & 10, 2018
Food and Drug Administration White Oak Campus
15 Adults

To volunteer for this event:
email interest to

Rockville Science Day 2018
April 22, 2018
Montgomery College Rockville Campus
25 adults and 25 teens 

To volunteer for this event: or email interest to


USA Science & Engineering Festival
April 4 thru 6, 2018
Washington Convention Center
8 partner organizations

To volunteer for this event:
email interest to


We will put out reminder notices as the dates for these events come closer. 

Read About Our Previous Months Activities
Studio iMakerspace

How to Enter a Science Fair Workshop

On November 11, 2017 the Rockville Science Center hosted a How to Enter a Science Fair workshop at the Studio  i Makerspace. The program was geared toward elementary school students who may be entering a science fair for the first time. The process of choosing a topic, researching the topic and developing a science project were discussed. How to follow the Scientific Method to guide the process of the experiment were demonstrated with a mini experiment of dancing raisins. Students learned about carbonation and created a hypothesis on what they thought would happen to a raisin when it was dropped into a glass of water and a glass of sprite. The students then observed what happened. Some students were surprised with the results! They then evaluated their hypothesis with the results and drew a conclusion. There was much enthusiasm and fun among the 30+ attendants. There were also projects from prior science fairs for families to view and ask questions of their authors!

Special Thanks to Nancy & David DeLalio, M elissa  Scales, and Soo Lee-Cho for putting this event together. 

November Science Tuesday
Contributions and Relevance of Fluorescent Proteins

Dr Kimberly Jacoby Morris, our guest speaker at our November Science Tuesday, is currently a postdoctoral fellow at NIH in the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Biophotonics Laboratory of Dr. George H. Patterson. Her current projects focus on developing fluorescent proteins for imaging technologies. Prior to her arrival at NIH, Kim was an interim organic chemistry laboratory lecturer at Bryn Mawr College, in Pennsylvania. She was awarded her PhD from Temple University for her contributions in understanding the chemical mechanisms of UV-damaged DNA repair. 

Dr. Morris's presentation focused on the contributions and relevance of fluorescent proteins and their contributions to the field of biomedicine. She presented a brief history of the discovery and engineering of fluorescent proteins, described how we use fluorescent proteins in medical imaging and therapeutics, and  discussed future applications of fluorescent proteins.

November Science Café
Monitoring Volcanoes from Space

We were delighted to have Dr. Hélène Le Mévelis at our November Science Café. Dr. Le  Mévelis is a Staff Scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC. She obtained her PhD in Geophysics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016. Her research combines analysis of ground and space-based geodetic data with computational modeling to understand how active volcanoes deform, the goal being to better understand eruption precursors.

Dr. Le  Mévelis discussed how r emote sensing techniques have allowed us to detect small-scale surface deformation at volcanoes around the globe and revealed that most volcanoes experience cycles of uplift and subsidence ( ground motion). We learned about her research at Chile and other volcanic sites around the world, detailing how volcanologists measure centimeter-scale ground deformations from space using GPS and terrestrially using infrared telemetry.  We also learned how deformation to magmatic processes takes place in the Earth's crust. The presentation ended with a discussion about what her data tells us about volcanoes and if the data can lead to prediction volcanic activity.

HBCU College Fair

The 7th Historically Black College and University Fair 

On November 4, the Rockville Science Center (RSC) participated at the 7th annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities Fair. This event is held at  the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, located in Lincoln Park, Rockville MD.  Maizie Cummings-Rocke, the RSC Exhibitions Director, along with Dr. Kevin Hopson, of the FDA, staffed the RSC Kiosk.

Over 600 people attended the event. About 60% of our guests were from the city of Rockville. The event began with an address by a keynote speaker. Our Exhibits Director had the opportunity to talk briefly to the assembly about RSC, its mission, programs, and goal of establishing a permanent facility. The audience was encouraged to visit our exhibit in the main hall to learn more about the RSC.

Visitors to our exhibit were encouraged to participate in the hands-on STEM activities we made available. The STEM kits offered a chance to experiment with nano foods, nano fabrics, straw rockets, and to gain an understanding of the scale of the universe.
Article in Washington Post

. Philip Justus, Board of Trustee member of the Rockville Science Center, sent a letter to the editor of the Washington Post on November 4, 2017.  His letter was a positive response to the article, "Stars Collide, Bringing Forth a New Era of Astrophysics" [Front page, Oct. 17, 2017]. The Washington post article can be found here. The text of Dr. Justus' letter is below:

Lively space news

Thanks to The Post for covering news that transcends political gibberish. Namely, "Stars collide, bringing forth a new era of astrophysics" [front page, Oct. 17], the scintillating article on astrophysics that showed proof of Albert Einstein's thesis that matter can be created out of energy. Several thousand astrophysicists and astronomers collaborated on this proof. Wow! Thousands of observers of the partial solar eclipse of Aug. 21 at Observatory Park in Gaithersburg were, or became, believers in the fundamental motions of our solar system that day. Keep us up-to-date on the realities of nature as they are discovered. Most of us don't read the scientific journals.

Philip Justus, Rockville

The writer is a trustee of the
Rockville Science Center.

Become a member (Join or renew) here!


Rockville Science Center Platinum & Gold Sponsors:
U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention
Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus
Hitachi Consulting

Rockville Science Center Bronze Sponsors:
Emergent BioSolutions

Corporate, Government, and Not for Profit Sponsorships here!

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