What is Purdue Space Day?
Organized by university students, Purdue Space Day (PSD) is an one day educational outreach program which provides school students in grades 3-8 the opportunity to learn about STEM by participating in three age-appropriate activities with a space theme. The participants are divided into three separate age ranges: Grades 3-4; Grades 5-6 and Grades 7-8.
Purdue Fall Space Day began twenty-five years ago on November 9, 1996 with just over 120 school students in attendance and 40 Purdue students who ran the program. Over the years, the event has grown to accommodate over 800 participants and the 300+ university students who make the whole event possible. Our volunteers act as role models and leaders for the participants so that they can inspire the next generation of Boilers. Purdue Space Day became an independent student organization in 2007 and changed its name to Purdue Space Day (PSD).
Since 1996, over 10,000 grade school students have participated in PSD and over 3750 Purdue students have taken a lead in this exceptional program. Only because of the generosity and support from our partners and donors, PSD is able to provide an entire day's worth of space, science, and engineering centered activities for third through eighth graders at no cost to the participants. The Indiana Space Grant Consortium and the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue both support the program and PSD is very grateful for this support.
One highlight of the day is the attendance of a Purdue Alumnus Astronaut. The astronaut starts the day with a presentation and is on hand throughout the day interacting with the students and giving them first-hand information about their space flight experience. Past astronauts include Buzz Aldrin, John Blaha, Roy Bridges Jr., Mark Brown, John Casper, Andrew Feustel, Guy Gardner, Greg Harbaugh, Jose Hernandez, Gary Payton, Mark Polansky, Jerry Ross, Loren Shriver, Scott Tingle, Janice Voss, Charlie Walker, Don Williams, and David Wolf.