USA Science and Engineering Festival

NASA’s Chief Scientist Dr. Ellen Stofan Kicks Off The Nifty Fifty Program!

By Nifty Fifty Host Carol Bengle Gilbert

Very often, even the host can’t helped but be inspired by the Nifty Fifty talks. Monday, I listened to Dr. Ellen Stofan, NASA’s chief scientist, address middle school students at the Nysmith School for the Gifted in Herndon, Virginia. The school decided to announce the science fair winners in conjunction with our event. (The kids in front of our sign in the photo are a few of the many winners.) This was a fun touch!

Nifty Fifty Students

Her talk brought out many interesting aspects of the work NASA does, but it was a student comment that really got me thinking. Dr. Stofan had explained the importance of polar ice caps to global warming, noting how their white color reflects light; if they melt, she pointed out, that light will be absorbed, raising Earth’s temperature. A girl raised her hand and asked, “Why don’t we all paint our roofs white?”

Read the full blog here.

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