Space Foundation Promotes STEAM at Mississippi State University

Written by: developer

Space Foundation Chief Operating Officer Shelli Brunswick (pictured) and Vice President – Education Bryan DeBates were invited by Mississippi State University (MSU) to speak at the campus in April as part of its Distinguished Speakers Series. They were invited by MSU’s Women in Aerospace chapter. Brunswick is chair of the Board of the Directors for the global organization.

The pair spoke to a packed lecture hall of students and faculty from the engineering, education and innovation colleges. Their hour-long presentation touched on Space Foundation programs such as the Space Symposium, which had concluded the week prior, Space Technology & Investment Forum and the Faga Forum. In addition to Space Foundation programs, there was much discussion on the future direction of the space industry, international programs and the work the Space Foundation conducts in Washington, D.C., as well as globally. A heavy emphasis was placed on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) programming and outreach that the Space Foundation conducts globally.
Following the presentation was a 40-minute Q&A, with many questions centered on the value of space exploration. The discussion gave Brunswick and DeBates the opportunity to highlight the Space Foundation’s Space Certification® program and Space Technology Hall of Fame®. Since many of the participants will be entering the workforce in the next couple of years, obviously, many questions centered around the future of space exploration and the direction the U.S. is going in space. This gave the duo the opportunity to cite The Space Report and highlight several statistics not only from the global space industry, but the direction of STEM education in the U.S., as well as the need to bolster the PreK-12 STEM pipeline in the U.S.
In addition to the speaking engagement, Brunswick and DeBates also met with the deans and other top personnel from the colleges of Engineering and Education to talk about future partnerships focusing on Space Technology & Investment Forum participation, New Gen programming at the Space Symposium and education outreach to include teacher professional development. The pair also visited the Raspet Flight Research Laboratory. MSU is the lead institution of a consortium of universities that are the leaders in UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) in the country, as well as the FAA’s Center of Excellence for UAS Research, and ASSURE, the Alliance for Systems Safety of UAS through Research Excellence. Dinner and breakfast meetings were also held with the MSU Women in Aerospace chapter and the National Science Foundation ASPIRE (Academic Success Program to Improve Retention and Education) Fellows for underrepresented students.

This article is part of Space Watch: May 2017 (Volume: 16, Issue: 5).