This included the Weledeh Catholic School in Yellowknife and the Inuvik Robotics and Engineering Club were the two winners for the Northwest Territories in the federal government’s Junior Astronaut Competition. Before entering the grand prize draw, classes or groups had to complete at least one of the activities listed under the three possible streams on the contest website.
The campaign was set up to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Jeremy Hansen spent the morning talking with students at Weledeh Catholic School before hopping on another Zoom call with schools spread across the Beaufort Delta and Sahtu.
He first gave a presentation on life as an astronaut on Earth and in space. Then he answered a wide range of student questions covering topics such as: how do you train for a space walk, how do you feel about flying in a rocket, and do aliens exist?
He confirmed to the students that he had not seen an alien UFO.
“To my knowledge, we are not visited by aliens today, but it is a huge universe and the more we learn, the more we realize that we don’t know. So anything is possible, ”said Hansen.
It was quite an exciting experience for everyone involved, including 2nd grade students Ember, Ashton and Helghi from Mackenzie Mountain School in Norman Wells, NWT.
“It was amazing,” Ashton said.
“I thought it was really cool… I never knew they had to put sleeping bags on the walls,” Ember said.
Helgi was even inspired to follow in Hansen’s footsteps. “I’m going to try to be an astronaut,” he said.
Hansen told the students that more space-related jobs are coming in the future as the Canadian Space Agency works on the development of a new spacecraft to go to the moon and ultimately aims to live on Mars. .
« [Space is] is changing rapidly and we need more and more people working in the space program, ”he said, adding that it was not just about exploring space, but also“ living better on this planet ”.
Before signing, he left the children one last message.
“I’m going to tell you that if you set goals for yourself and share them with other people to help hold yourself accountable… you will achieve all the things that you will love to accomplish,” he said, adding that the failures will be part of the journey.
“You will fail like everyone else, but if you stick to these goals and know what you are aiming for, you can all accomplish the amazing things you would love to do. “