Senior School boys talk to NASA Chief
A group of boys had a rare opportunity to talk to the Administrator of NASA Charles Bolden during his recent visit to Canberra. Christ Church was the only WA secondary school invited to take part in the live, video conference held at UWA.
Eleven boys, from Years 7 to 11, were chosen to attend the special event organised by the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), which was held in the School of Physics. The conference involved a live link with audiences in Canberra, the Victorian Space Centre in Melbourne and Tuart College. Other schools and institutions were able to watch online via a live webcast.
Physics teacher Andrew Bacon, who accompanied the boys, said students were selected based on the question they would most like to ask. “Mr Bolden proved to be a highly inspirational and entertaining speaker, thoroughly engaging the boys, especially when describing his own experiences as a NASA astronaut on the Space Shuttle,” Mr Bacon said.
Despite a slight technical hitch, two Christ Church students asked their questions directly to Mr Bolden regarding the feasibility of sending man to Mars, and his prediction of what contributions NASA will have on humanity over the next 50 years. “His responses to the boys were most interesting and also extremely thought-provoking,” he said.
Mr Bacon said it was an honour for the boys to speak to the NASA head – the first time a NASA Administrator had visited Australia since the early 1970s. “It was wonderful for the School to be chosen to take part in this significant event, and the boys demonstrated their knowledge and maturity by confidently answering questions posed by the NASA Administrator,” he said.
Mr Bacon said the retired United States Marine Corps major general had clearly inspired the boys. “After the presentation, several of the boys said they were considering researching further study within the space and aeronautics sectors.”
He thanked Head of Science Michael Masterton for organising the event.