Several Hope College projects have received grants from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC).

A total of nine projects from Hope received funding from the consortium through its 2013-14 grant period. The awards to Hope projects, which total more than $51,000, include seven fellowships for students conducting collaborative research with members of the faculty, two “seed grants” for faculty research, and two program awards for Hope initiatives focused on pre-college and teacher training.  The awards to the college included seven of the 20 undergraduate fellowships and two of the 13 research seed grants that the consortium funded.

Hope will provide additional support for each of the projects, including stipends for the students as they conduct research during the summer, and matching funds for the faculty and institutional projects.

The students receiving fellowships were:  sophomore Ryan Backman of Oro Valley, Ariz., who will work on “The Mechanical Response of Polymer Films to Infrared Radiation” with Dr. Matt Smith, assistant professor of engineering; sophomore John Baranski of Shelby Township, who will work on “”Computational modeling of snap-through for light responsive arches” with Smith; sophomore Skylar Heidema of Kalamazoo, who will work on “Thermally reversible polymers for patterning self-oscillating gels” with Smith; sophomore Jesse Ickes of Grandville, who will work on “Compton scattering cross sections in strong magnetic fields” with Dr. Peter Gonthier, professor of physics; junior Audrey LaRoche of Hudsonville, who will work on “Using remote sensing to map brittle fracture zones in Southwestern Sweden” with Dr. Ed Hansen, professor of geology and environmental science; sophomore Daniel Vessells of Bloomfield, who will work on “Physical Property Modeling from Equations of State” with Dr. Mike Misovich, associate professor of engineering; and junior Stephanie Vincent of Northbrook, Ill., who will work on “”Using remote sensing to map a geological unit in southwestern Sweden” with Hansen.

The two faculty seed grants were awarded to Dr. Miguel Abrahantes, associate professor of engineering, for “Implementation of a Tetrahedral Robotic Platform”; and Smith for “A Facile Approach to Responsive Polymer Films Driven by Near-IR Sensitive Dibenzocyclooctadiene.”  The grants are designed for junior faculty, to develop research expertise that will position them to earn support from other sources in the future.

The program-award support for teacher training initiatives was awarded to Dr. Brian Bodenbender, associate professor of geology and environmental science and chairperson of the department, and Dr. Eric Mann, assistant professor of mathematics.  Bodenbender’s project, “Teach the Beach, Commune with the Dune, Understand the Sand: Pre-College Field and Classroom Studies of Open Sand Environments Using GigaPan Photography,” will support a workshop to show high school teachers how to lead their students in monitoring environmental changes at their own field sites.  Mann’s project, a partnership with the Muskegon Area Regional Math and Science Center, will have Hope STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students work with area teachers in developing a summer program for high school students that will immerse four 10-student engineering design teams in a one-week challenge and also support follow-up and a professional development session.

The Michigan Space Grant Consortium seeks to foster awareness of, education in, and research on space-related science and technology in Michigan.  Hope and Calvin College are the only undergraduate colleges that are members of the consortium, which also includes Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Oakland University, Saginaw Valley State University, the University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University.