Despite launch delay, NU undergrads plow ahead with redesign for NASA freeze-casting experiments

Herincx SpaceICE

By Lauren Robinson Medill Reports Young scientists are racing to deliver by October a satellite payload of instruments to test freeze-casting — technology that could free space explorers from expensive, time-consuming deliveries of supplies from Earth. The team of Northwestern University undergraduates building the innards for a small satellite called a “CubeSat” missed the launch […]

Northwest Indiana residents grapple with implications of dead swans

By Lauren Robinson Medill Reports Northwest Indiana is a region of many small refuges. For its human occupants, that might be a quiet spot on Whihala Beach facing north, toward Chicago’s glimmering skyline. For wildlife, that might be a bird sanctuary by a casino in Hammond — or perhaps a discharge of warm water from […]

The trials and tribulations of freeze-casting to manufacture materials in space

Medill News Service journalist Lauren Robinson is embedding this spring with Northwestern University researchers studying freeze-casting for a planned space launch. Click the first photo in the gallery above for a photo essay showing how a freeze-casting suspension is created. Krysti Scotti’s enthusiasm for her pioneering freeze-casting work at Northwestern University is contagious enough to […]

Plans for former coal plant irk Pilsen activists

By Lauren Robinson Medill Reports This story has been revised to reflect the status of Hilco’s relationship to the former Fisk site. Seven years after Pilsen residents celebrated the closure of the Fisk coal plant, activists are gearing up for a new campaign: to demand input in the site’s redevelopment and oppose the continued operation […]

How to beat the winter blues

By Lauren Robinson Medill Reports Vanessa Ford is a psychotherapist based in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. She treats clients with anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction and other mental health issues. Early Sunday, Chicagoans will set their clocks back. They’ll bid farewell to that last sliver of daylight at the tail end of the 5 […]

In Chicago suburb, candidates’ environment message easy on climate change

By Lauren Robinson Medill Reports HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — Calling for a stronger focus on renewable energy and protection of the Great Lakes, the Illinois chapter of the Sierra Club hosted a day of action on a recent Saturday in support of two pro-environment Democrats campaigning for the state legislature. The Democrats – Sen. Julie […]

‘Renaissance Woman’ embraces new phase of life and gender identity at 75

By Lauren Robinson Medill Reports Stefanie Clark describes her regular stints volunteering at the Art Institute of Chicago as a way she can give back to the community that kept her moving forward during a tumultuous time in her life. “This is one of my things I look forward to the most,” said Clark, 75, […]

Duckworth: Administration ‘stonewalling’ efforts to visit shelter for immigrant children

By Lauren Robinson Medill Reports U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) said Friday that the federal government is “stonewalling” her attempts to visit a Des Plaines facility that houses immigrant children taken from their families at the U.S. border. Duckworth, flanked by American Civil Liberties Union staff at a news conference at the John C. Kluczynski […]