Rover, thy name is Perseverance

Virginia teen submits winning name of NASA’s next Mars rover

Seventh grader Alexander Mather, 13, submitted the winning entry to the agency’s “Name the Rover” essay contest, which received 28,000 entries from K-12 students from every US state and territory.

The name was announced Thursday during a celebration at Mather’s school, Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia.

Perseverance is the latest of Red Planet rovers to be named by school-age children, from Sojourner in 1997 to the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, which landed on Mars in 2004, to Curiosity, which has been exploring Mars since 2012. In each case, the name was selected following a nationwide contest.

Perseverance currently is undergoing final assembly and checkout at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It’s targeted to land on Mars’ Jezero Crater a little after 3:40 p.m. EST (12:40 p.m. PST) Feb. 18, 2021.

Positive Impact

Kidspace Children’s Museum appoints new CEO

Kidspace Children’s Museum announced that Lisa Clements has been appointed by the board of directors to serve as the museum’s new chief executive officer starting April 20.

“We are delighted to have Lisa join the Kidspace team,” said Mike Bryant, Kidspace Board President. “She brings award-winning experience in program development, capacity building, and a passion for positive social impact.”

Clements comes to Kidspace from the J. Paul Getty Museum, where she has served as the Assistant Director of Education, Public Programs, Interpretive Content since 2016 and has focused her efforts on improving the design and impact of the museum’s programs, with particular emphasis on accessibility and inclusivity.

She led educational initiatives at both the Getty Center and Getty Villa, that included kindergarten through university school groups, educator programs, in-gallery and online interpretative media, and public programming such as the theatrical performances, family programming, and unique performance-based programming to bring increasingly diverse audiences into the museum.

Getty content developed by her team has won 18 national awards for excellence, including the prestigious Fast Company World Changing Ideas award, Shorty Social Good Award, and a number of AVA Digital Awards.

Previously, Clements managed multiple lines of business at the Walt Disney Co. under the Disney Learning umbrella, including Disney Educational Productions, Disney English, and Disney Learning Print. 

Bands Onboard

Tournament of Roses picks 21 marching bands 132nd Rose Parade

The Pasadena Tournament of Roses has picked 21 of the marching bands that will participate in the 132nd Rose Parade, this year themed “Dream. Believe. Achieve.”

The bands will travel to Pasadena from across the US and around the world, including Italy, Japan, Panama, Sweden and Taiwan.

The bands selected are:

Arcadia Apache Marching Band and Color Guard


Banda de Musica La Primavera

Santiago, Veraguas, Panama

Bands of America Honor Band

United States

The Pride of Broken Arrow

Broken Arrow, OK

Downingtown Blue and Gold Marching Band

Downingtown, PA

Georgia State University Panther Band

Atlanta, GA

Gibson County Tennessee Mass Band

Dyer, TN

Hebron Marching Band

Carrollton, TX

Homewood Patriot Band

Homewood, AL

Los Angeles Unified School District – All District High School Honor Band

Los Angeles

Mira Mesa High School “Sapphire Sound” Marching Band and Color Guard

San Diego

O’Fallon Township High School Marching Panthers

O’Fallon, IL

Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band and Herald Trumpets


Royal Swedish Cadet Band

Karlskrona, Sweden

The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band

Los Angeles

St. Ursula Eichi Sendai Honor Band

Sendai, Miyagi, Japan

Marching Band, Honor Guards and Color Guards of Taipei First Girls High School

Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China

Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands

Nashville, TN

Triuggio Marching Band

Triuggio, Monza and Brianza, Italy

United States Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band

MCRD, San Diego and

Camp Pendleton

Waukee Warrior Regiment

Waukee, IA. n