International Space Station Highlights Annual STEM Journey

SANDWICH – An annual event that showcases science, technology, engineering and math returns to Sandwich High School and STEM Academy Saturday.

STEM Journey VI will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 2 and this year’s theme is “The International Space Station and Beyond.”

The event features more than 40 hands-on activities, The Magic of Chemistry Stage Show, Opening reflections on “An Accidental Career in Science” followed by a Keynote Lecture by NASA on International Space Station Research & the Gateway Lunar Orbiting Platform.

“The idea is to keep kids interested in the STEM fields, that science, technology engineering and math are skills that we use everyday,” said Jennifer MaClachlan, who owns and operates PID Analyzers with her father and is the founder of STEM Journey.

“And to develop that interest and keep that interest and encourage them into to STEM fields and STEM careers.”

The International Space Station will make two passes over Sandwich High School during the event.

“We have a ham operator, who is on our staff and one of our engineers at PID Analyzers, and he will be using his ham radio to communicate with the International Space Station as it flies over two times,” MaClachlan said.

The passes will occur at 8:47 a.m. and 10:24 a.m. The second pass attempt will be open to the public just prior to the beginning of the event.

The communication attempts would be a one-way communication to the space station, and organizers will hope to hear a response.

This is the third time that STEM Journey has had a space theme.

“They tend to draw the biggest crowds,” MaClachlan said. “We really want to focus on the International Space Station because I think that is the really big thing that is happening right now at NASA.”

The keynote speaker is Dr. Luke Roberson, a research scientist and principal investigator for NASA. He will discuss how his work contributes to the space station and the work they have upcoming for the Gateway Lunar Orbiting Platform.

MaClachlan said speakers and exhibitors that are booked for the event are asked to discuss how they got involved in science and what sparked their interest for them to stay in STEM education and careers.

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