Bryn Mawr Elementary School celebrated Space Day Renton with astronauts and engineers on Monday, May 15, hosted by the Jeff Bezos-owned, Kent-based aerospace company Blue Origin’s Club for the Future.
Club of the Future is a nonprofit that works to inspire kids interested in STEM and outer space to pursue careers in the future of space travel. Along with a “space-focused” curriculum, the club has children write “Postcards to Space” and allows access to Blue Origin rockets.
Students were treated to special guests, which included Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith, Blue Origin capsule controller Shoshauna Harrison, representatives from Woz ED who showcased educational STEM kits and a presentation by Captain Wendy Lawrence, a retired NASA astronaut.
Students were extremely excited to get to meet an astronaut, especially a female one, as one student shouted out, “Girl power!” as Captain Lawrence stepped on stage.
“As a ten-year-old, I remember lying on the floor in front of our — I’m pretty sure it was a black-and-white television — watching Neil Armstrong become the first person on the moon, followed by Buzz Aldrin, and I was absolutely amazed at what I saw,” Captain Lawrence said to the crowd. “It just looked like the coolest job ever because they were able to bounce and shuffle along the surface of the moon. Gravity was not really keeping them stuck on the surface and I thought, ‘That’s it! That’s what I want to do when I grow up!’”
Captain Lawrence told the students about how she worked to become an astronaut and what she needed to study and do after high school in order to reach her goals.
Along with learning about Captain Lawrence’s work as an astronaut, students heard about the possibilities of living in space and Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket mission, named for the first American to go to space, Alan Shepard.
After the presentations, students took part in the “Postcards to Space” project, creating cards that visioned what life will be like for people living in space. Each postcard will be aboard a New Shephard mission and will then be returned to the students with a stamp verifying that the letter had “Flown to Space.”
Days after the Space Day Renton event, Blue Origin made national headlines when it was selected by NASA for the upcoming lunar astronaut mission, as part of the Artemis program.