James A. Flaten
Associate Director of the MN Space
Grant Consortium and Contract Associate Professor
Office: 205C Akerman Hall
E-mail: flate001 (at) umn.edu
Professor Flaten serves as the Associate Director of the Minnesota Space Grant Consortium (MnSGC), a NASA higher education program, which involves state-wide promotion of all-things-NASA-related. He teaches NASA-related classes, including freshman seminars on high-altitude ballooning and high-power rocketry, and also works with college students and faculty (and others) on out-of-class NASA-related projects including building and flying miniature spacecraft into the stratosphere using weather balloons, developing science payloads for NASA suborbital rocket flights, and mentoring student teams participating in high-power rocketry competitions. Professor Flaten also conducts teacher workshops and outreach activities at local schools and for the general public on aerospace, astronomy, physics, and engineering. His formal academic background is in low-temperature experimental physics and he particularly enjoys the connections between physics and sound (especially musical instruments), physics and art (especially art using unusual optics), and physics and Halloween (including an annual display of "spooky" physics demonstrations at the Mystery Science Lab in the CSE Math & Science Fun Fair ).