Purdue Space Day 2016 features alumni astronaut Jerry Ross, seven new STEM activities

Jerry Ross was the VIP astronaut for Purdue Space Day 2016. Ross is a veteran of seven U.S. Space Shuttle missions and shares an individual world record for the most spaceflights flown. Purdue Space Day hosted nearly 600 third-through-eighth graders. This was the 21st year for the annual one-day camp.

One of the most launched astronauts in history was on the Purdue University campus for this year's Purdue Space Day.

Jerry Ross is a veteran of seven U.S. Space Shuttle missions and shares an individual world record for the most spaceflights flown. He is also a Purdue alumnus, who earned BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering in 1970 and 1972, respectively.

Purdue Space day is a one-day camp open to students from third through eighth grades. The event, which is in its 21st year, promotes learning in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The theme of Purdue Space Day 2016 was "Eyes Turned Skyward." Jerry Ross kicked off the day with a talk in Elliott Hall of Music. Activities continued throughout the day with each child participating in three hands-on space, science and engineering learning sessions in addition to Ross's presentation. This year’s Purdue Space Day featured seven brand new activities.

Purdue Space Day is supported, in part, by The Indiana Space Grant Consortium and Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. It is organized by an Executive Board made up of eight Purdue students. An additional 250 student volunteers help run the event. Nearly 600 third through eighth graders attended this year’s Purdue Space Day.

top photo: Astronaut Jerry Ross kicks off Purdue Space Day 2016 with a lecture in Elliott Hall of Music

bottom photo: Campers launch stomp rockets during Purdue Space Day 2016