Friday, November 11th – Johnathan Brendle (Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum)
TONIGHT we are pleased to be joined by Johnathan Brendle of the educational outreach department for The Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum. We’ll be discussing public science education, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) as well as where “Art” might fit in through “STEAM” initiatives. We will also discuss all manner of geekdom, talk about his experiences at San Diego Comic Con promoting NASA’S Journey to Mars, what it’s like to work for one of the most important museums in the world, and explore a bit of science fiction in film, television, and music just for fun!
Johnathan Brendle was born in Newark, Ohio to two engineers. His father is an Electrical Engineer for the USAF and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) for space systems. His mother is an Aerospace Engineer for Aurora Flight Sciences. Throughout his life, the influence from his parents helped to mold him into the science-loving man he is today. For a while, he lived in Dayton, Ohio next to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
After moving to the Washington DC area, Johnathan went to public school without knowing where he wanted to go with his future. His father travelled to Pasadena, California on a monthly basis to work on space equipment for the NRO at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). He would send Johnathan photos of the rover mockups used for testing at JPL. His mother was a program manager at Aurora and worked a lot with NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) on drone technology and developing more fuel-efficient methods for commercial air travel. From there, Johnathan developed a passion for space. He went to The Ohio State University for Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering, following in his mother’s footsteps.
After leaving Ohio, Johnathan moved back to the Washington DC area where he continues to work on his education. He works at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia. From his childhood, Johnathan recalls visiting the museum. Becoming a part of the experience at the museum has been a dream come true. He currently works in the Education Department where he continues to inspire the younger generations to “reach beyond the stars” through science/space educational outreach.