The School of Aeronautics and Astronautics hosted the 14th annual Purdue Space Day which took place on Saturday November 7th, 2010 with astronaut Michael J. McCulley as guest VIP
Purdue Space Day (PSD) is both a successful educational outreach program for third through eighth grade students and a professional development program for Purdue University student volunteers. The program inspires grade school students to learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by using a space theme. The school students participate in three hands-on age-appropriate STEM activities during the day. PSD encourages the children to think about future careers in engineering and also lets the children become more familiar with a university campus as a place for them to ultimately come.
Mike McCulley started the weekend off with a talk on campus that was free and open to the public about his experiences as an astronaut. McCulley, who earned a master's degree in metallurgical engineering from Purdue in 1970, was the pilot on a space shuttle mission in 1989. He logged 119 hours in space. During this mission, crew members successfully deployed the Galileo spacecraft on its journey to explore Jupiter, mapped atmospheric ozone and performed several secondary experiments.
Following his retirement from NASA in 1990, he was employed by Lockheed Martin Space Operations and served as vice president and deputy launch site director for the Kennedy Space Center. McCulley next served as vice president and associate program manager for United Space Alliance's ground operations at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 1996. McCulley was named president and CEO of United Space Alliance in 2003, where he worked until his retirement in 2007.
More than 580 third- through eighth-graders are registered for the 14th annual Space Day, which is filled to capacity. Participants will come from 461 schools in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Washington. More than 190 Purdue students representing 27 majors volunteered to run the event.
The weather was glorious and the children took part in a total of nine hands-on activities throughout the day and also had an opportunity to talk to Mike McCulley as he toured the activities. The day ended up with group photos of both the children and Purdue students by the statue of Neil Armstrong outside of Armstrong Hall.
Pictured above ~L~R
The PSD Executive Board L~R Ben Weiss, Kevin Kuhlman,Holley Dickmeyer, David Cronin, Stephanie Sumcad, Mike McCulley, Jessica Holsinger, Collin Morgan, Sarah Lindsay
The High Powered Rocket Launch was a huge success with Purdue Space Day volunteers John Howell and Jon VanHorn