September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Pasadena…Home of Science and Engineering in Southern California

Posted: Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

. . . and the 2011 California Science Education Conference

The beautiful city of Pasadena will host the 20th annual California Science Education Conference.  CSTA invites you to this charming Southern California “city that feels like a village.”  Not only does Pasadena offer excellent convention facilities, hotels, and restaurants, it is also home to institutions that are recognized worldwide for the important contributions they have made to science and technology since the early 20th century.

Some of the biggest advances in astronomy, medicine, geology, and space exploration have occurred here, making it a great location in which to host the 2011 California Science Education Conference.

Pasadena’s reputation as a major center for science continues to attract great minds eager to make the next big discovery.  Pasadena is the home of many venerable science and engineering institutions, including Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and California Institute of Technology (Caltech).  Below are a few fun facts about these institutions:

Caltech

Caltech is one of the finest academic and research institutions in the world. Modern earthquake science was born here in the 1920s and 1930s with the invention of a sensitive seismograph to record earthquakes and the development of the Richter Scale to measure them.  The principles of modern aviation and jet flight grew out of work carried on at Caltech by Theodore von Karman.  During the 1930s, von Karman and his students developed the principles of airplane design and flight that helped get the aircraft industry off the ground.

Caltech is known as the center of the universe for astronomers because of its major contributions to the field.  In 1948, Caltech completed the first survey of the entire sky visible from the northern hemisphere, a survey that created an atlas of the heavens that  astronomers the world over used for the next three decades.

Psychobiologist Roger Sperry determined that the left hemisphere of the brain and the right hemisphere of the brain are specialized for different capacities here in 1981.  Caltech receives more invention disclosures per faculty member than any other university in the nation.  The university has received over 1,800 U.S. patents since 1980.

JPL

In the mid-1930s, off-campus experiments by several of Theodore von Karman’s Caltech students led to the establishment in 1943 of the world famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).  Today JPL is the nerve center of America’s robotic space program.

Though a part of NASA, JPL is still managed by Caltech.  In the early 1940s, JPL developed the United States’ first rockets and guided missiles.  In 1958, JPL helped create and launch Explorer I, the first U.S. satellite.  This started the “space race” with the Soviet Union.  That year JPL joined space exploration as part of the newly formed NASA.  In the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, JPL launched the Pioneer, Mariner, Voyager, Magellan, and Galileo missions to explore the solar system.  In July 1997, the Mars Pathfinder and its Sojourner rover captivated the world with its spectacular images of the Martian surface.  Currently JPL has 20 spacecraft and nine instruments conducting active missions.

What better place to host a conference that brings together in one location the who’s who of science education in California?  Start making your plans to participate today.  Registration for the 2011 conference will open in June.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

2 Responses

  1. When will the Conference take place?

  2. Dear John,
    The conference will take place October 21 – 23, 2011 at the Pasadena Convention Center.

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