Prichard Art Gallery Exhibit to Showcase Vandal Atmospheric Science Team Work

Monday, January 28 2013

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho’s Prichard Art Gallery, in collaboration with Vandal Atmospheric Science Team, presents the exhibit titled, “VAST: To Infinity and Beyond” to run Jan. 29 – Feb. 10. A closing reception and silent auction will take place on Friday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Prichard Art Gallery.

Looking at Earth from a different perspective, the educational exhibit will focus on the natural beauty of this world and the excitement of exploration that STEM education is creating through the eyes of the Vandal Atmospheric Science Team, or VAST, which is the University of Idaho’s chapter of the Idaho Research Involving Student Engineers and Educators Program, a division of the NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium.

“The arts have always been a tool to comprehend the world. The VAST program captures information about our world. By looking at what the program is doing in the context of an art gallery we present the wonder that is inherent in all forms of exploration. In that spirit, this celebrates the drive at the core of both the arts and science,” said Roger Rowley, director of the Prichard Art Gallery.

The Idaho VAST project aims to develop the capability to design, produce and recover high-altitude science and engineering instrumentation, focusing on images recently gathered on high-altitude balloon launches.

To date, VAST has launched over 10 science payloads, reaching altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. VAST is a multidisciplinary project open to students of all class levels, including high school, and from any discipline. The project provides valuable experience for student participants in the areas of teamwork, documentation, communication and other technical areas that students can use to boost their educational experiences.

Idaho’s VAST recently began collaborating with the University of Idaho’s College of Art and Architecture programs. Both art and engineering often approach similar concepts concerning the world and how people live, learn and communicate within it, but from significantly different perspectives.

“By forming this collaboration, students from both colleges are presented with an opportunity to understand and see things from a perspective they might not have seen before,” said Ed Galindo, faculty for the VAST program. “We are hoping that through this exhibit, we can not only illustrate a natural interface between these two programs, but also generate excitement and curiosity, and create an avenue for shared learning across the community.”

On Wednesday, Jan. 30, John Herrington, university graduate student and NASA astronaut, will provide a talk about space flight, building on the International Space Station and the importance of education of space exploration at 5:30 p.m. in the Prichard Art Gallery.

The silent auction on Feb. 8 will feature images from one of the recent balloon launches. All proceeds will go to support the expansion of VAST projects and outreach programs.

This exhibition is sponsored by the Idaho Space Grant Consortium, the University of Idaho Office of the Provost, the College of Art and Architecture, students of the University of Idaho, and the business and individual Friends of the Prichard Art Gallery. Educational outreach programs are sponsored by the Idaho Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

This exhibit is open to the public. The Prichard Art Gallery hours are: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; it is closed on Monday. The gallery, an outreach facility of the University of Idaho, is located at 414/416 S. Main St. on the corner of Fifth and Main streets in downtown Moscow. Admission is free. Additional information is available at
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The University of Idaho inspires students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more: