Sound is everywhere—even when its quiet.
That's what Los Angeles rock-band Ozomatli and special guest Anthony Marinelli taught a roomful of really bright kids at NASA Ames yesterday, who arrived to compete in technology and business at the Conrad Foundation Spirit of Innovation Summit.
"A lot of this technology was innovated with the same spirit as the space program," Marinelli said. "People in music had that same quest."
An accomplished composer, conductor and performer, who's scored more than 60 films and played keyboard on Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album, Marinelli also likes to remix sounds. For the Conrad Awards opening night he brought his soundboard, keyboards and synthesizers to demonstrate the science of sound using pitch, timbre, duration and volume.
Then Ozomatli and Marinello invited students from the program to make music with them, and jam they did! Nearly 11 students took on the challenge and a few even hit the dance floor.
However after the performance, it was hard to tell who was more star struck. The students from the Infinity team—Meera Petroff, Grace Hannon, Madison Jones and Elliott Lonwsberry—hung around to meet the band and Marinelli. The kids from Oregon are developing a new fabric to regulate the body temperature of astronauts
But just as intently, Sierra and Marinelli listened to the students' project and were impressed with Hannon's impromptu drawing inspired by the music and sounds of the evening.
Asdru Sierra—the band's lead vocalist, brass and keyboard player—told Mountain View Patch that this is Ozomatli's second year at the Conrad Awards and the kids influenced the band's decision to return.
"I took an interest in a few kids who had found a way to process human feces into food," Sierra said about a team last year. He justified the importance of the project if, for examples astronauts ran out of food. After the feces was processes and tested, the kids even sampled their and each others "poop" he shared.
"They found that the girl in the group, who was vegan, had the best one," he said, qualifying it by adding that it was the most nutritious. "They didn't bring in any samples."
An annual, international competition, the Conrad Awards challenges students to create innovative products using science, technology and entrepreneurship to solve real-world, 21st century problems. Fifteen teams compete in three categories and the winner receives seed money to start their project.