150 Twitter users were selected, from over 2,500 entries, to attend NASA's STS-133 Discovery shuttle launch, with special access at the press site, and two days of programmed events -- meeting crew, talking to astronauts, exploring NASA -- and to top it all off, to view the launch from the countdown clock. We formed an instant community (within hours of being selected) via Twitter, created a Google group, FB group, email lists, and 15 of us who had never met before rented a house, and started sharing space knowledge, social media knowledge, etc. 4 other shared houses came together. Our house, the Big House, was the hub of all activities. Never having met meant nothing to us. Our first night there we gathered (over 70 of the 150) and formed our space tweeps family. Astronomers, scientists, NASA workers, digital storytellers, educators (k-12 and higher ed), videographers, all passionate about space. The shuttle never launched. The communities which were formed out of this experience are still going strong. The entire week was broadcast on JustinTV by one of our colleagues -- sharing the entire NASA learning experience with thousands of folks. We're invited back to watch the launch when she's scheduled to go in February. This was an amazing use of Social Media, and a perfect example of the power of these tools, and how they can be used to market, share, teach, grow, explore, inspire.
Andy is an entertainer; specifically a filmmaker and VFX artist. Working for Guillermo del Torro's brand new imaginarium, Mirada, he is dedicated to telling stories and engaging audiences. A year ago, a string of semi-random events combined to turn Andy into a somewhat outspoken critic of America's current agenda in space, and a proponent of commercial and 'New Space' ventures. He is dedicated to using his talents as an entertainer to push this crusade as much as possible.
Pamela Greyer is the founder and CEO of CEEN (Community Education & Enrichment Network) in Chicago, Illinois. As a teacher with Chicago Public Schools, Ms. Greyer was the Director of the Chicago NASA SEMAA (Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy) program and has held lead teacher positions in other NASA K-12 STEM programs in the Chicago area for the last nine years. Recognizing the need to increase the involvement of Chicago area K-12 students in STEM activities and programs as well as exposing more young people to STEM careers, Ms. Greyer has created a strong network of partnerships with universities, cultural institutions, corporations, government and community organizations in Chicago as well as around the world to increase STEM educational opportunities for students.
Phylise Banner is an information designer currently working as an Instructional Design Project Leader for the American Public University System.
Throughout her career, she has worked closely with faculty, staff, students and IT managers to design, develop and deliver technology-based solutions across departments and disciplines. She regularly embraces opportunities to experiment with emerging technologies in order to best serve adult students at a distance, and to create communities of lifelong learners.
Along with her current achievements in adult learning and distance education, she has over 18 years of experience in information visualization with special expertise in the visual representation of financial and economic data.
Phylise presents regularly at regional and national technology and communication conferences on the topics of information design, experience design, creative hypertext, instructional design, information visualization and GIS technologies. She also teaches Digital Storytelling online for Empire State College and SUNY IT.
Her current research focuses on the use of Web 2.0 and information visualization applications to establish community and visual presence in the online classroom.
She is an avid angler, student pilot, STS133 NASA Tweetup attendee, and proud owner of a 1967 Amphicar.
Sophia Dengo is an interactive designer at CNN.com. She contributed to online documentary projects borderstories.org and whitecitystories.org before joining CNN.com, and has since spent her time developing interactive features, contributing to CNN's coverage during the 2008 election and the Haiti earthquake, among others. Sophia is also a longtime space nut and part of the STS-133 NASA Tweetup community.
Stephanie Schierholz is NASA's social media manager and an agency spokesperson. She has 10 years' experience leading strategic communications, media relations, and public outreach efforts. She provides strategic communications guidance to NASA's senior management and is an advocate for incorporating emerging communications technologies into the agency's public outreach activities.
She leads NASA's social media activities, including the primary NASA Twitter account, @NASA, NASA's Facebook page, and NASA Tweetups, including three at space shuttle launches.
Ms. Schierholz also is a public affairs specialist and spokesperson for the agency's Space Operations Mission Directorate that leads and executes NASA's human spaceflight missions on the space shuttle and International Space Station.
She initiated and led the development of a NASA Stylebook and was a contributing editor to "NASA: 50 Years of Exploration and Discovery." Before coming to NASA, Ms. Schierholz was the director of communications for the Space Foundation. When not dreaming of spaceflight, she is the president-elect for Women in Aerospace, an inaugural member of the British Council's Transatlantic Network 2020, and a member of the Public Relations Society of America.
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