Year 8 Students Meet NASA Astronaut Megan McArthur
As part of the activities to celebrate National Science Week, a group of Year 8 students went to the Planetarium to meet NASA astronaut Megan McArthur.
The boys were treated to a 20 minute film outlining the stresses experienced by the human body whilst in space and the extensive training required to deal with these hostile conditions. Western Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Lyn Beazley, then addressed the gathered students about the exciting scientific career opportunities available in Western Australia.
Megan McArthur showed a home movie of her ‘summer holiday’ in space, as part of the NASA mission to repair and upgrade the Hubble space telescope. Her role was to operate the robotic arm to assist the astronauts as they carried out their maintenance and repair work. The images and personal anecdotes about the mission gave the boys a realistic idea of what it would be like to be in space.
After this was an opportunity to ask questions. Amongst the obvious questions about eating, drinking and going to the toilet, there were some great questions about which subjects Megan had studied at school and university, pay rates (did you know that astronauts receive a travel allowance of $3 per day whilst in space?) and how she had filled in her spare time in space.
The boys received a ‘show bag’ of scientific goodies and afternoon tea as part of the experience. They were able to meet Megan in person and she encouraged them to ‘reach for the stars’.
HEAD OF SCIENCE