History

Onward…

2001:  The Ad Astra Kansas Initiative is founded by a group of citizens and educators interested in raising Kansas’ scientific profile in the 21st century.

2002:  The AD ASTRA Kansas News—a newsletter focusing on high-tech/space-tech research, development and education in Kansas—is launched. The focus is on:

  • Astronomy and Physics
  • Aviation
  • Biotechnology
  • Energy
  • Information Technology
  • Manufacturing / Advanced Materials

2003:  Application is made to and granted by Governor Kathleen  Sebelius for a proclamation of a statewide AD ASTRA Kansas Day on April 25, 2003. The purpose is to promote public awareness of the importance of science and technology to Kansas’ future and to recognize scientific achievement in Kansas.

The date is symbolic in that it marries “to the stars” technology with a Kansas connection. In April of 1990 astronaut and native Kansan Steve Hawley deployed the Hubble Space Telescope from Space Shuttle Discovery.

The 2003 observance of AD ASTRA KansasDay is held at Washburn University, Topeka. The event is free and open to the public.

2003:  The AD ASTRA Kansas News is granted affiliate membership status with the Kansas Space Grant Consortium.

2004:  The second annual AD ASTRA Kansas Day observance is held at Washburn University, Topeka. Special guest speaker is Dr. Steve Hawley. His topic is “The Hubble Space Telescope—14 Years of Servicing and Science.” The event is free and open to the public.

Public outreach includes a poster contest for statewide poster contest for grades 5-6. Themed “Super sleuths—researching for the Stars,” contest materials include mini-biographies of five current Kansas scientists. Funding is through the Kansas Space Grant Consortium. The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center provides an outreach presentation for the winner’s school. Entries number 260. The winner is Phillip Eller of Phillipsburg Middle School.

And Upward!

2005:  Anchored by a second governor’s proclamation, the third annual AD ASTRA Kansas Day, April 30, 2005, focuses on a Kansas first. The headlining speaker is Dr. Trevor Sorensen, director of the KUTESat program at the University of Kansas, which will send Kansas’ first pico satellite into space in the near future. He speaks on this milestone achievement and plans for this technology, both short- and long- term.

This event is free and open to the public. Cooperating on this public service event are Washburn University, the Kansas Space Grant Consortium and KTWU, Topeka.

A second poster contest for Kansas  students is also held. Titled “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Satellite,” its informational brochure features the KUTESat pico satellite program on an age-appropriate level for 5-6th graders across Kansas. Again, the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center provides an educational presentation the winner’s school. The winner is Kevin Burdick of Sts. Peter and Paul School, Seneca.

2006:  The fourth annual AD ASTRA Kansas Day is marked by a display in the rotunda at the state capitol building from April 23-29, 2006. The theme is “Kansans reaching for the stars through space-tech education, research and commerce.” Over twenty entities supply display material including WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR), Emporia State University and the Kansas Applied Remote Sensing (KARS) center.

2007:  With the governor’s annual Kansas Day activities for students at the Capitol on January 29 taking the theme “To the Stars,” the Ad Astra Kansas Initiative sponsors an exhibit there . The Ad Astra theme is “Kansas Kids Reaching for the Stars Thru: Hot Science, Cool Museums, Super Stargazing and Rockin’ Rocketry.” Entities donating give-away items and brochures for the booth include Exploration Place, the Kansas JASON Project, the Kansas Science Olympiad, the Kansas BEST Competition, the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. Over 500 pencils engraved with “Ad Astra Kansas—To the Stars” are  given away from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. when the activities concluded.

A third governor’s proclamation names April 28 as AD ASTRA Kansas Day 2007.

A new Ad Astra Kansas Initiative website is introduced—www.adastra-ks.org

Ad Astra  Kansas Initiative co-founder, Dr. Randall Chambers, dies in December. He continues to be an inspiration to us in our work.

2008:   We are again a presence at annual Kansas Day activities at the Capitol courtesy of the Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education, which displays our materials.

The sixth annual AD ASTRA Kansas Day, is marked by a display at Exploration Place, Wichita, from April 19-May 11. This year’s theme is “Getting off the Planet Kansas-Style” in memory of Dr. Randall Chambers. A presentation is given at Exploration Place’s Kemper Theater  on April 19 at 2 p.m. by Mary Jane Chambers, the same as was given by Dr. Chambers and her to NASA Houston in October 2007.

An AD ASTRA Kansas / NASA space initiative meeting is held Nov. 20, 2008, in Topeka, the topic of discussion being Kansas’ potential for space as a niche industry. Nineteen  attendees from Kansas business, state and educational sectors are present. The meeting is informative but very general. Consensus is that more research is needed. Subsequent to that research, another meeting will be held in 2009.

2009: Governor’s proclamation of an Ad Astra Kansas Day on April 24 is requested and granted.
The first Galaxy Forum, sponsored by the AAK Initiative, is held in August at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Hutchinson.  This educational event seeks to use space science as a way enrich science education.  This free event is geared toward teachers and interested public.

2010: An Ad Astra Kansas Day Space Celebration is held in Topeka on April. Sponsored by the Ad Astra Kansas Initiative, in cooperation with the Washburn University Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, it is held at Washburn University. This free educational family event celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope, which was deployed in 1990 by Kansas native astronaut Steve Hawley. Over 250 attend.

Governor’s proclamation of an Ad Astra Kansas Day is requested and granted to celebrate science accomplishments in Kansas and by Kansans, including the anniversary of the Hubble..

A second Galaxy Forum is held in August.

AAK participates in the Kansas Cosmosphere’s Teachers’ Night out, spreading information about our upcoming sesquicentennial project: SCIENCE in KANSAS—150 years and counting

2011: Second annual Ad Astra Kansas Day Space Celebration sponsored by the Ad Astra Kansas Initiative is held again in Topeka on April 23 with the cooperation of the Washburn University Dept. of Physics and Astronomy as well as various community groups. Again, over 250 attend this free event.

A governor’s proclamation of an Ad Astra Kansas Day for April 23 is granted to mark the importance of science to Kansas and to celebrate the importance of science to Kansas’ 150 year history.

The AAK Initiative is also sponsoring a sesquicentennial educational project: SCIENCE in KANSAS—150 years and counting.  In this year-long project 150 Kansas connected individuals in science fields, both past and present, are featured for the purposes of inspiring Kansas students in STEM fields and also to honor Kansas’ science legacy. This free project is done with trading cards which are posted on the Ad Astra Kansas website to be downloaded by teachers and students for use in the classroom.

The third Galaxy Forum will be held August 27.

…Beyond the Horizon

Physical AD ASTRA Center in Kansas with a Founder's Day event planned for November, 2011

This page was modified on 08/09/11.