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STEMfest SF Teen Read program invites youth to discuss ‘Orbiter’ book, attend related events

October 7, 2011

“Orbiter” by Warren Ellis and Colleen Doran is the October selection for the SF Teen Read.In science fiction, aliens don’t always look like little green men or the beehive-coiffed vixens Captain Kirk usually encounters in Star Trek.

In Warren Ellis and Colleen Doran’s graphic novel “Orbiter” – the October selection for the STEMfest SF Teen Read – humans encounter life forms that truly are alien.

Ten years after the demise of America’s space program, a lost shuttle crash-lands at the Kennedy Space Center. The shuttle is covered in a protective living shell, and the catatonic astronaut inside hasn’t aged a day since he was presumed dead a decade ago.

It’s up to a team of scientists to discover where the shuttle has been and what came back to Earth with it.

AT 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, teens are invited to NIU’s La Tourette Hall conference room to a free discussion on “Orbiter,” physics, space and the history of America’s shuttle program with Suzanne Willis and Matthew Wiesner from NIU’s Department of Physics.

The STEMfest SF Teen Read is presented by NIU STEM Outreach in conjunction with Founders Memorial Library and librarians who specialize in teen fiction at the DeKalb Public Library, Sycamore Public Library, Cortland Community Library and other libraries throughout DeKalb County.

Organizers encourage young adults throughout northern Illinois to participate in this free program.

  • Check out “Orbiter” at your local library.
  • Like STEMfest SF Teen Read page on Facebook to connect with other teen sci-fi fans and find cool articles that relate to what you’re reading.
  • Attend the book chat at NIU, where you can eat snacks, ask questions, and share your thoughts with NIU experts and other teens.
The NIU Observatory will be open after the SF Teen Read discussion.

The NIU Observatory will be open after the SF Teen Read discussion.

After the discussion, participants are welcome to visit the observatory at NIU’s Davis Hall and take a closer look at heavenly bodies in the fall sky, including Jupiter, the Andromeda galaxy, and open clusters of stars.

The SF Teen read culminates Saturday, Oct. 22, at STEMfest at the NIU Convocation Center with activities for science fiction lovers of all ages.

  • Live Skype appearance by Colleen Doran, co-creator of “Orbiter” at 2 p.m.on the STEMfest Stage. Doran will discuss “Orbiter,” her art, her love of science-fiction, her interest in the space program and her experiences working in the comic book industry. After her presentation, Doran will answer questions from the audience.
  • Sci-Fi Book Nook presented by DeKalb Public Library, Cortland Community Library and Sycamore Public Library. Take a look at the fiction and non-fiction books about science, technology, engineering and math available from your local libraries.
  • Announcement of the SF Teen Read Essay Contest winners. There is still time to enter your essay for a chance to win a full scholarship to a 2012 NIU STEM or Creative Writing Summer Camp from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences External Programming.

STEMfest SF Teen Read logoTo learn more about the STEMfest SF Teen Read, essay contest and other free STEM programs, visit the NIU STEM Outreach or contact Gillian King-Cargile at [email protected] or (815) 753-6784.

Free bookmarks with SF Teen Reading lists and event schedules are available at public libraries in DeKalb, Sycamore, Cortland, Malta, Genoa and Waterman, as well as at the Kishwaukee Family YMCA, DeKalb County Community Foundation, Graham Crackers Comics and New Game in Town.

by Gillian King-Cargile

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