So, today is National Voter Registration Day. Since some of you are old enough to have a say in this year’s election, I thought some resources might be in order.
First…you have to register to vote. So, the first thing you need is a voter registration form. You can print them out and mail them in. The deadline in PA is October 9th. In New Jersey, it appears to be October 16th.
PA Voter Registration Form
NJ Voter Registration Form Page
If you’re looking for general information on voting, look here for PA info and here for NJ info.
Want some election related books? There’s a bunch on display in the library, including Vote for Larry Janet Tashjian, about an 18 year old who runs for president, because the Constitution says you must be 35 to serve, but says nothing about running. Declare Yourself is a collection of essays by famous people talking about their experience with voting. For the middle school, one of my favorites is Josh Lieb’s I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President, about a 7th grade evil genius who has convinced everyone he is stupid and has decided that class president will add to his evil empire.
For the seniors, here’s a quick scholarship link: AES Engineers is offering a $500 dollar scholarship to anyone who will be attending a college. You do not have to be planning to study engineering. You just need to write an essay (and there are plenty of us who will be happy to help you edit and polish that essay). Deadline is October 5th.
So, this sort of relates to John Green’s letter. He talks about “landing a Mini Cooper on Mars.” And in particular, he calls out Adam Steltzner, the Lead Engineer for Entry Descent and Landing at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (in other words…he’s responsible for Curiosity not crashing on the surface of Mars.)
Last week, Marty Moss-Cohane, who hosts the show Radio Times on WHYY interviewed Mr. Steltzner as well as Frank Hartman, who is the Curiosity driver (he controls the rover by remote). I picked this because 1) the whole Curiosity thing is just so stinkin’ cool; and 2) part way through the show, she asks them about education and what they were like as students. You’d think two guys who work at The Jet Propulsion Laboratory and have designed and are responsible for placing a rover on Mars would be top guys in their class and have degrees from fancy-schmancy colleges, right? Well, you’d be wrong. Steltzner talks about how he just wasn’t a good student in high school. And Hartman started out as an engineering student at Drexel, but dropped out to go to art school. His background…game design. The interview’s a little long, but download it, put it on your iPod and listen on the bus or in the car on your way to school one day. I promise, it’s really interesting.
NASA’s Mission to Mars and Curiosity.
I could go on about how awesome it is to be back at school, but John Green does it so much better.
Like what he has to say? Check out any of his books from the library!