Schools countdown to launch of virtual space festival

Dallas Campbell - STEMFest in Space

Schools, colleges and community groups across the region are counting down to one of the biggest space and astronomy events in the calendar.

The STEMFest in Space virtual event combines classroom and hands-on learning in an exciting, fun-packed day, showcasing the many wonders of space. It is a perfect opportunity for learning about careers within the space sector and a chance to meet real astronauts and inspirational speakers.

This free event is being organised by the STEM Ambassador Hub North East, run by RTC North, and will be held on Thursday 8 October from 9.30am until 7pm. It features celebrities, astronauts and astronomers.

As part of World Space Week (4-10 October), the event aims to encourage and engage as many young people as possible in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects to help them consider a career in this field when they are older.

Young people will be able to learn from the comfort of their own classroom and interact with STEM Ambassadors who work or support the international space industry.

The event will be delivered online and hosted by TV presenter and stage actor, Dallas Campbell, who will link the sessions in addition to presenting his own space - themed live talk.

Dallas is best known from the BBC One science series Bang Goes the Theory, and has presented many other science and space TV documentaries over the years. He says: “Space is the perfect canvas for young people to explore and engage with all kinds of STEM subjects. I'm so looking forward to hosting the event and meeting some of the extraordinary people who have dedicated their lives to our greatest adventure.  The countdown is ON!"

Dr Andy Aldrin and Jim Christensen of the Aldrin Family Foundation will join us to discuss their experiences of space, educating our next generation of explorers and the best ways to engage today’s students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM).

Dr Andy Aldrin is Director of the Aldrin Space Institute and president of the non-profit foundation dedicated to inspiring children's passions for STEAM. He will discuss his experience of the space programme, seeing his dad the famous astronaut Edwin Eugene (Buzz) Aldrin on the Moon and his dream for the future of space exploration.

He said: “Our mission at the Aldrin Family Foundation is to inspire the next generation of space leaders, entrepreneurs and explorers. We believe in igniting a passion for STEAM within the hearts and minds of even the youngest of students all the way through college, and beyond to working professionals. This unique structure ensures we have the trained and talented workforce needed to continue exploring deeper into space.

“I am really looking forward to speaking to the students and schools at the STEMFest in Space event and hope to inspire the next space explorer.”

Jim is the Executive Director of ShareSpace Education at the Aldrin Family Foundation and will be delivering talks to teachers and families. He is the former Director of Education at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and has led a team to design the new Astronaut Training Experience and Mars Base 1. He also served as an advisor for Space Shuttle Atlantis, the International Space Station and the recent SpaceX Dragon.

Claire Willis, STEM Education Relationship Manager at RTC North based in Sunderland is organising the event. She said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone interested in learning about space. We’ve pulled together a really exciting programme involving talks, presentations and activities delivered by some of the world’s leading experts in this field.

“We are bringing together an excellent panel of speakers and presenters, which I hope will inspire some of our younger generation to seek a career in STEM.

“There is something for everyone from reception and key stage 1 right through to sixth form, teachers and families. We’re aiming to reach out to as many people as possible to join us for this free virtual event and hope they can join us throughout the day. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet real astronauts and there may even be some special surprises on the day – watch this space!”

To find out more about this event please visit the website: 

You must pre-register for this event. Tickets are free and can be booked here 

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