NASA Engineer Bringing Mars to KC
The Kansas City Star
Kobie Boykins is coming to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Boykins, though, is no artist. He’s a mechanical engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and plays a key role in the agency’s exploration of Mars — including work on the rover Curiosity, landed on the planet’s surface last summer.
Tuesday night, as part of the “National Geographic Live” speaker series, Boykins will appear at the Kauffman Center’s Helzberg Hall to present “Exploring Mars: The Next Generation.” Speaking by phone from his California home, Boykins told us that audiences can expect an exciting evening of exploring the Red Planet, including recently released evidence that the planet could once have supported life.
“It’s a great show” Boykins said. “We tell the whole story of the Mars Rover project using digital animations, video and still photography.”
Engaging and funny, Boykins said that getting young people excited about science is an important part of his mission. That includes, he said, dispelling misconceptions about scientists.
“People think that we all act like characters on ‘The Big Bang Theory,’” he laughed. “Or that we all wear pocket-protectors and lab coats.”
Without a lab coat, all pockets unprotected, Boykins will present “Exploring Mars: The Next Generation” at the Kauffman Center on Tuesday, May 14 at 7:00pm. Tickets range from $18-$43. More information is available from the center’s box office at 816-994-7222 or online at kauffmancenter.org.