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Guest: Gregory (Greg) Cecil; Topics: Space Education and the programs Greg has helped develop and put in place for middle school through college students. Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com.
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We welcomed back Greg Cecil to discuss space education outreach. As part of our discussion, please review the following sites: www.Schools-to-Space.com & www.SpaceTEC.org. His book is on Amazon. Remember, if you purchase it from Amazon, be sure to use the OGLF portal so that Amazon will make a donation to The Space Show. Click on the Amazon link in the center of our home page for details and instructions. Greg has a LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com/in/gregory-cecil-m-a-s-93097a25. His email address is AeroSTEM AT gmail.com.
During the first segment of our 1 hour 26 minute program, Greg started the discussion with some very interesting space industry and historical statistics. Listen to what he said and let us know what you think about these facts by posting on our blog. He also mentioned that the average age of a space tech worker was 53. Later in the program, he was asked what he thought the ideal average age of a space worker should be. Listen carefully, you might be surprised. Do you agree with Greg or disagree with him?
Greg then began discussing the state of space education today. He mentioned that there were no text books for the subject in middle school and high school and that is one reason why he wrote his book, "Classroom Laboratory At The Edge Of Space: Introducing The Mini-Cube Program," His book is actually a text book which he referenced and described throughout our discussion. He talked about the SpaceTEC program Schools To Space. This program includes STEM educator workshops with lesson plans, work sheets, readings, activities, and projects.
The website is www.Schools-to-Space.com which serves as a STEM educator and student portal to space education resources. The Mini-Cube Project emphasizing both science and technology was discussed along with Greg's discussion about what it was like to work on the Space Shuttle which he has made into a lecture series from the technician's perspective set for a school presentation. The documentary video, “I Want to be an Astronaut Movie” is screened for middle and high schools and there is an introduction of Aerospace Technician Core Competencies for middle and high school students through activities and presentations. The program also strives to assist high school aerospace technology programs by establishing a SpaceTEC Nationally Certified Aerospace Technician Apprentice Program.
Listeners emailed Greg several questions about the program, inquiring if there were videos that others could use or was it only in "in person" type of program. Others wanted to know about the gender mix of students, funding sources especially if NASA or any of the commercial space companies were helping out in this area. When Greg mentioned the ideal average age of a space worker, he received additional questions asking about the experience of older people as opposed to wanting a younger space tech employee. Don't miss his response which focused on mentoring.
In the second segment, Greg talked more about his book which he said was a summary of lessons learned . He referenced the Mini-Cube program with JP Aerospace and other companies. He also talked about the seed experiment and some of the surprising results and information obtained from the seed flight experiments including experiments on the ISS.
Throughout the discussion, Greg stress the need for all students to have the opportunities to do space work as he said the field was positioned to explode with opportunity for those with the education and training.
Wayne from Philadelphia asked Greg to compare and contrast his work on the shuttle before the program was shut down and he was laid off to his recent career of being a teacher and being involved in space education. Don't miss his comments but he did say working on the shuttle was really special, nothing like it. That said, his teaching and space education work has been a very close second!
Greg summarized his educational outreach efforts and programs. He offered special concluding comments which students should definitely hear as there are great opportunities in the space field with more coming on line all the time. However, one will need a good education to fully access and participate in these opportunities. He summed it all up by advocating "making your dreams come through."
Please post your comments/questions in the comments section of the blog on TSS website for this particular program. Greg can be reached through me or his email address listed above.