Aberdeen Science Centre and Robert Gordon’s College will host visitors from NASA For the fourth consecutive year.
They will visit Scotland to promote the exciting opportunities within robotics, artificial intelligence, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and inspiring our 21st century explorers in the space, oil, gas and energy sectors.
A week-long programme is organised jointly by the Society of Petroleum Engineers Aberdeen Section (SPE Aberdeen), the Energy Institute Aberdeen, Highlands and Islands branch, the Society for Underwater Technology (SUT), TechFest & Aberdeen Science Centre.
Colin Black, Carjon-NRG Ltd, managing director and NASA in Aberdeen chairman, said: ‘Since we first began collaborating in 2015, NASA has continually provided a valuable resource to Aberdeen City and Shire through the provision of numerous educational materials that can be used in schools as well as by TechFest and Aberdeen Science Centre.
‘With the support of the Scottish Space School Foundation, NASA in Aberdeen – Inspiring the Next Generation was created where astronauts, engineers and scientists from the space agency can deliver their messages of inspiration directly to North East children and families.
‘We are incredibly grateful to see the relationship continue with NASA in Aberdeen now enjoying its fourth year in the city with over 12,000 attending the events.’
The programme has also grown in popularity over these four years and has drawn generous support from energy companies who will also be participating in the programme, as well as providing STEM ambassadors to help coordinate activities. These sponsors are Apollo, BP, CNOOC, Equinor, Oceaneering and TAQA.
Apollo is now supporting the programme for a third year and engineer Paul Sykes said: ‘We have seen first-hand the effect this programme has on the children of the city and surrounding areas.
‘NASA in Aberdeen provides a rare opportunity for these kids to speak to a real-life astronaut and learn all they can about space travel and the wonderous technologies involved. The technologies and skillsets used in space exploration cross over heavily with the energy industry, some even inspiring the latest innovations in subsea exploration.
‘We hope that by learning about this from the fantastic team at NASA, we can get youngsters excited about STEM subjects that may inform their future career paths.’
The 2020 programme will feature presentations from former NASA astronaut, William McArthur and engineer, Heather Paul. Heather was a member of the mission support team for the 14th NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO 14) and is the lead engineer for the future spacesuit life support system design. Bill worked for NASA for almost three decades, logging 224 days and 22 hours in space over three space shuttle missions and at the International Space Station.
A public talk featuring presentations from William and Heather will take place on Friday 20 March 2020 at Robert Gordon’s College. Tickets are £3 can be purchased from Aberdeen Box Office in person, by calling 01224 641122 or by booking online at aberdeenperformingarts.com.