In Conversation with an Astronaut...

Budding engineers at HSD have enjoyed a timely, out of this world experience!

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On International Women’s Day, pupils from F1 to F6 who are taking part in the ‘If you were an Engineer, what would you do?’ competition, had the chance to join a Zoom call with NASA astronaut Nicole Stott.

Nicole – the tenth woman ever to perform a spacewalk – answered all manner of space-related questions from fascinated youngsters from a number of schools and spoke to them about her time on the International Space Station.

She also shared some watercolour paintings that she had done whilst in a microgravity environment. Water behaves very differently on the ISS!

Nicola Kiernan, HSD Head of Chemistry and STEM Co-ordinator, said, “Nicole is not just a NASA astronaut but also an aerospace engineer, aquanaut, artist, Mum and author. She creatively combines the awe and wonder of her spaceflight experience with her artwork creations – a truly inspiring role model for our pupils!”

The ‘If you were an Engineer, what would you do’ contest is a national one in which school pupils are asked to design a novel solution to an identified human problem, exercise their scientific literacy by articulating their ideas via a letter of purpose, with the winning entry going on to be made into a physical prototype by a university engineering group.