Future Sun Devil Families program prepares high school students for college

August 21, 2014

Arizona State University is accepting registrations this month for students and families to participate in the Future Sun Devil Families program. The program guides students and parents through the college preparation process at no cost.

More than 350 Arizona students and their families participated in in the inaugural 9th grade program last year. Classes are taught at local high schools across the Phoenix area. The goal of ASU’s Future Sun Devil Families program is to arm more Arizona students and families with the knowledge they will need to enroll and succeed at a university. Future Sun Devil Families logo Download Full Image

During the five-week sessions, students and their families learn what high school classes are needed for university admission, good study techniques and success tips from current college students, how to create a college portfolio and how to apply for scholarships. Interactive activities guide students and families through the following topics:

• identifying themselves as a college-bound student

• how to make college affordable using scholarships and grants

• taking the right classes in high school to prepare for college

• understanding and equipping themselves for college entrance exams

• how and when to apply for college and for financial aid

• selecting a career path and corresponding college major

Participating schools and start dates
(classes are held from 6 to 8 p.m.)

Mesa Public Schools

Dobson High School – Sept. 2, 2014

Skyline High School, Sept. 2

Phoenix Union High School District

Alhambra High School, Oct. 14

Carl Hayden High School, Oct. 16

North High School, Oct. 16

Trevor G. Browne High School, Oct. 15

Tempe High School District

McClintock High School, Sept. 16

Marcos de Niza High School, Sept. 17

Tolleson Union High School District

Tolleson High School, spring 2015

Westview High School, spring 2015

La Joya High School, spring 2015

Copper Canyon High School, spring 2015

Sierra Linda High School, spring 2015

ASU Preparatory Academies

Polytechnic campus, Sept. 4

Downtown Phoenix campus, Sept. 2

During its first year, Future Sun Devil Families offered the curriculum to 9th grade students and their parents, with plans to add additional grades each year. This year, both 9th and 10th grade curriculum is being offered. Students and at least one parent or adult who supports their goal of acquiring a university education are encouraged to attend the workshops at local high schools.

“Future Sun Devil Families illustrates ASU and President Crow's vision to measure the success of our university not by who we exclude, but by who we include and how they succeed,” said Sylvia Symonds, assistant vice president of educational outreach at ASU.

Future Sun Devil Families workshops are taught in English and Spanish, take place during the academic year and are available at no cost to families. Workshops are designed to guide students and parents through the college preparation process in an interactive, co-learning environment.

For more information and to register, visit: asu.edu/futuresundevils.

ASU receives rare space rock gift

August 21, 2014

Arizona State University’s Center for Meteorite Studies recently received a precious gift. Aside from its price tag, what makes this space rock so special is where it came from: the moon.

The new sample belongs to the rare class of meteorites originating from the moon called “lunaites.” Of all known distinct meteorites in this world, of which there are tens of thousands, less than a hundred are thought to come from the moon. NWA 7611 Download Full Image

The softball-sized meteorite donation is valued at about a quarter of a million dollars, and is likely to be the most significant single donation ever made to the center.

“Of the tens of thousands of known meteorites (most of which come from asteroids), only a very tiny fraction are lunaites. So this is a very rare kind, even among meteorites, which are themselves quite rare among rocks found on Earth,” says Meenakshi Wadhwa, director of the center and professor in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration. “This new sample is probably one of our most prized pieces and, without a doubt, one of the most significant recent additions to our collection.”

Known as Northwest Africa 7611, this meteorite was found near the Moroccan/Algerian border in May 2012. It was subsequently purchased by the donor, Jay Piatek, from a Moroccan meteorite dealer. Piatek is an avid meteorite collector and owns one of the more significant private collections in the world. He is a supporter and generous donor to university and museum collections.

The center has six other lunaites in its collection, but their total weight is only about 60 grams. As such, this new lunaite, weighing 311 grams, represents a five-fold increase in the total mass of lunar material in the collection. The total known weight of the original specimen was 916 grams, and the mass donated to the center is the largest remaining mass (or main mass) of this meteorite.

“The chemistry, mineralogy and textures of lunar meteorites, or lunaites, are similar to samples that were brought back from the moon by the Apollo missions (1969-1972). These characteristics are quite distinct from other classes of meteorites and terrestrial rocks,” explains Wadhwa. “Lunaites can have a small amount of metal, but it is present in very small abundance compared to ordinary chondrites, for example, which are the most common types of meteorites.”

Classified as a lunar regolith breccia, this meteorite contains a mix of rock types from the moon’s mare and highlands. However, because there is very little mare material on the far side of the moon, this regolith breccia most likely came from the near side (that has both mare and highlands material).

The gift will be on display for the short term, but there are plans to use it for research purposes in future years.

“It is a beautiful, fresh-looking piece, with one cut and polished face that shows the internal texture and fabric of the rock – as such, it displays a unique snapshot of the lunar surface,” says the Center for Meteorites collections manager Laurence Garvie.

Consisting of specimens from around 2,000 separate meteorite falls and finds, meteorites in the center’s collection represent samples collected from every part of the world. Visitors may explore the collection weekdays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., on the second floor of Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV.

Nikki Cassis

marketing and communications director, School of Earth and Space Exploration