ASA’s open innovation incubator, the International Space Apps Challenge, will take place April 22-24. The global main stage for this year’s event will be in Pasadena, California, with local events taking place simultaneously in 193 locations spanning 72 countries.
One of those locations is Augusta, GA. (BTW — only one of two locations in the southeast and the only location in Georgia.)
theClubhou.se is hosting the Augusta event, and they are looking for teams of students and interested hackers to participate. This year, NASA is offering 26 challenges in six mission-related categories: Aeronautics, Earth, International Space Station, Journey to Mars, Solar System and Beyond, and Space Technology.
This year’s challenge will include a Data Bootcamp on April 22, streamed live from the global main stage. The bootcamp is open to the public and will give participants the opportunity to learn new skills with computer coding and data.
On April 23 and 24, participants are asked to develop mobile applications, software, hardware, data visualizations and platform solutions that could contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth.
Teachers, for more information on the challenge, visit 2016.spaceappschallenge.org. To register, go to 2016.spaceappschallenge.org/locations/augusta-ga-usa.
STOP SHOUTING AT ME
We all get emails from THAT person. Whether it’s intentional or not, THIS person always has a knack for rubbing us the wrong way. The topic doesn’t matter. Even a simple comment regarding that latest (and cutest) cat video causes you to cringe. This has got to be some extreme, literary superpower. No human could possibly write so many offensive emails about such inane topics!
Of course, I’m not talking about any one person. We are all guilty of sending that poorly written email. It’s that email that sounds good when we send it, but doesn’t sound so great when your boss reads it back to you. A poor word choice, an ambiguous phrasing, a failed attempt at humor — all of these items lead the reader to wonder, “What the heck were they thinking?” And before you know it, a simple email thread turns hostile.
What makes an email sound rude? While everyone has their own pet peeves, most emails considered snarky or abusive contain similar language.
- ALL CAPS — This is perhaps the most widely known method to escalate a written message. It’s very simple — ALL CAPS = yelling. SO DON’T YELL!
- Unnecessary Punctuation — An exclamation point is used for emphasis. However, multiple exclamation points do not add more emphasis. They simply make you look like a troll.
- Multiple personality words — The meaning of many words depend on a context not present in an email. For example, the word “fine” could mean two different things: That sounds good or that’s a horrible idea, but I’ll go along since I think you’re a butthead and I want to watch you suffer. Likewise for “thanks.”
- But, actually… — Whether written or spoken, these two words tend to emphasize a single item: I’m right and you’re wrong. If that’s the message you are trying to convey, then they might be the right choice. Most of the time, you’ll want to try a different phrasing.
- Demands — Engineers are notorious for placing demands in email. Their training requires specificity, and their dry, yet charming, personalities hinder their ability to catch the snarkiness. Please don’t hold it against your engineering team. They just want to be loved! ;-)
This list is by no means comprehensive. A quick search of the internet reveals hundreds of different sites dedicated to improving your email etiquette. Go ahead and burn an hour or two on self-improvement. It will go a long way to warming up your online personality.