Astronaut Dr. Sandy Magnus and Donald James of NASA spoke about their STEM backgrounds and opportunities for students at the 2016 K-12 STEM Symposium. Magnus explained how her interests in physics and electrical engineering eventually led her to become an astronaut. James talked about chemistry, experiments and how he ended up working at NASA. Both spoke about reaching goals and also gave individual advice to students in the audience.
Ed Swallow of The Aerospace Corp. moderated the panel and brought up the topic of what STEM will look like in the workplace when current young students will be in that workplace. It was noted that future STEM jobs may not exist today and that students and employers will have to learn along the way. Magnus received questions concerning life in space, liftoff, what the Earth looks like and more. James also stressed that you don’t necessarily need to be a STEM major to work at NASA.
The Annual K-12 STEM Symposium will be held March 25, 2017, in Herndon, Virginia. The largest K-12 STEM Symposium in the National Capital Region is a free, all-day forum that equally engages local parents, educators and children. Sign up by visiting www.stemsymposium.com. Sponsorships are still available.