MEDFORD, Ore. -- Astronomy students from North and South Medford High Schools and Ashland and Mclaughlin Middle Schools heard from Raphael Grau, NASA ISS External Integration Office Deputy Manager, about their future's in space.
"As I tell all the kids, you can do anything you want and you should be pursuing your dreams. At NASA I work as much with scientists and engineers as I do with doctors, lawyers, financiers and accountants; now, for each doctor, lawyer and accountant I hire, I probably hire 20 engineers and scientists, so you can kind of see the ratio of what I’m looking for but everybody can contribute to the space program," said Grau, who also said that this generation of students could be a part of the next space exploration, "If you look at our timeline for getting to Mars, these kids are the ones that are going to be engineering the solutions and being the ones to walk on Mars."
The presentations where held at the North Medford High School Planetarium, the only high school planetarium in the state of Oregon. Students who attended are a part of astronomy classes. Mr. Robert Black, North Medford's astronomy teacher, says that the upper level science class counts towards college credit.
"It's such a different kind of science because it takes what we have on earth and it expands it," said astronomy student, Alice Lulich, "I learned this year about stars, about comets, about other planets; looking for life. It's kind of crazy because all of the other areas of science that we learn are all earth-based; like chemistry and biology and physics, they're all earth-based, but the thing is with astronomy it's looking out and beyond earth."
Grau says that one of NASA's focal points is to educate and share their findings with students and the public, "This is a part of our charge, to share this with students to see what they can do with it in the future."