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Meet Our Team of Speakers 
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Adventures of an Astrophysicist in Antarctic Dr. Karen Andeen, Astrophysicist

Keynote Speaker: Thursday Noon , no tickets required

 Location:  Terrace

Karen Andeen is a professor in the Physics Department at Marquette University. 

She specializes in astroparticle physics, which has led her to work on experiments in a

number of extreme environments from the South Pole to the International Space Station. 

Karen will discuss both the science and the adventure behind these experiments and,

additionally, how her teachers started her down this path.

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Dr. Wes Marner, Deputy Director of the                   Wisconsin Science Festival

Keynote Speaker Friday 12:45-1:30 

Location:  Terrace

What set you on a path to becoming a scientist? What influences how you view the role of science in everyday life? In science education, we often talk about science training…how to DO science. (This is valuable work – without STEM professionals, our modern world wouldn’t exist!) Equally important, though, is encouraging youth to become scientists in the first place. Hear about some of the experiences that launched Wes’s journey to becoming a chemical engineer, including some of the turns that led him to embrace informal science engagement with the public. Along the way, you’ll learn about programs that provide opportunities for Wisconsin teachers and students to work alongside researchers. And no matter your background or location, you’ll learn of opportunities for anyone – adults and youth alike – to get involved in the Wisconsin Science Festival, a grass-roots event each fall that offers hundreds of science engagement activities throughout the state.



Friday’s Keynote will also feature a special guest, Dennis Schatz, who is a Senior Advisor at the Pacific Science Center and President-elect of NSTA. Dr. Schatz will share some thoughts on the current state of science education.

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Kobie Boykins, NASA Engineer

Friday Banquet Speaker


A dynamic young engineer at NASA‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Kobie Boykins is on the front line of Mars exploration. Boykins designed the solar arrays that power the Mars exploration rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. Landing on Mars on January 25, 2004, Opportunity was designed to survive a mission lasting approximately 90 days. Remarkably, the rover continues to traverse the surface of Mars to this day, sending back valuable scientific data. 


Most recently, Boykins was responsible for the design of actuators on Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory, which safely landed on Mars on August 6, 2012. Boykins’ other projects have included work on the Mars Pathfinder mission and the Ocean Surface Topography Mission, making measurements by satellite of the Earth’s oceans.

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