If You Missed the Last Meeting

If You Missed the Last Meeting

RD SharninghouseBy: R.D. Sharninghouse
Orlando Central Florida Chapter, STC

On Thursday, April 21st at the IHOP on University, the Orlando Central Florida chapter of the STC had a special meeting that covered the 30th anniversary of the Challenger disaster presented by guest speaker Dr. Paul Dombroski.

2016 Pellegrin Scholarship
Before the meeting, the chapter awards some very deserving students with the Melissa Pellegrin Memorial Scholarship! Congratulations are in order for the winners, Isabella Gustave (second from left) and Jessica Canul (not pictured). This annual scholarship has been a proud chapter tradition for a couple decades.

The lecture dealt with the technical communication aspects of the Challenger disaster from an ethical point of view.  It covered the breakdown in communication, the push to have a mission to space, and the various memos, testimonies, and other investigative coverage concerning Challenger.  It was an eye opener.  I am still shocked to find out about the frozen launch pad and the eroded O-ring.

April 2016 Presentation
Dr. Paul Dombrowski presents about the ethics surrounding the Challenger disaster.

The Challenger explosion was a tragedy.  I was in first grade at the time.  Challenger crew member Christa McAuliffe came to my school for an assembly and we were all excited for her. We could not wait for the mission.  On that fatal day, we didn’t know how to react.  We were all very sad, but as kids we had no idea of the other things that were involved in the incident.  I personally didn’t find out what had happened until Dr. Dombroski’s presentation.

Editor’s Note:

On a lighter note, the chapter also used the occasion to honor the two winners of this year’s Melissa Pellegrin Memorial Scholarship! The undergraduate-level winner was Jessica Canul, and the graduate-level winner was Isabella Gustave. Thank you to both students, and to all participants, for helping this amazing program to continue. (For more information about the program, click here!)


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