The team at EduKits have just come off a mega weekend of STEM where we ran bottle rocket workshops as part of an initiative that saw a team of NASA JPL scientists land in the regional NSW city of Wagga Wagga to inspire our next generation of big thinkers and doers.
Organised by One Giant Leap Australia the weekend was an extravaganza for space, science and engineering enthusiasts featuring 12 concurrent talks and workshops along with a fantastic drone racing display.
Some of the features of the weekend included talks by:
Tom Nolan – Earth and Climate Scientist who ran two prsentations, one of moonwalkers and the other on climate literacy, where we were challenged to always remember “this planet is on loan to us from our children”.
Todd Barber – Senior Propulsion Engineer who presented a history of propulsion with NASA JPL, introduced us to what’s happening with the Cassini Mission to Satury and also gave us insights into the two Voyager Spacecrafts on which he has expert knowledge.
Deb Brice – Marine Science Educator also gave two excellent talks on both science exploration in extreme environments and ocean acidification and coral reefs.
Rachel Zimmerman Brachman – Outreach Lead for Radioisotope Power Systems was on hand to deliver presentations on NASA’s Mars program along with helping us to understand what happens to the human body when an astronaut goes into space.
Dr. Michael Malaska – NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Astrobiologist delivered sessions on the exploration of Saturn’s moon Titan, and also ran a virtual tour of some extreme environments and extreme life on Earth, and some places where life might exist on other planets in our solar system and beyond.
In additional to the above international superstars, attendees also heard from Jackie Carpenter from One Giant Leap about the great work they are doing opening opportunities for the youth of Australia.
Locally, we also had school student Meg Emery present a session on her highly acclaimed astronomy works and Michael Nixon from EduKits ran a rocketry workshop.