January 10, 2019 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
The University of Saskatchewan’s student-run event Spectrum 2019 opened this morning with a special appearance from Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut David Saint-Jacques – from space! More than 300 participants, including 200 grade 6–9 students from schools across Saskatchewan, had the unique opportunity to interact with Saint-Jacques, who is living and working aboard the International Space Station until June 2019.
Veteran Canadian astronaut and Saskatoon native Dr. Dave Williams was also present for the event. He talked about his own space flight experience and the incredible power of space to inspire and engage the next generation of explorers. Participants listened attentively as Williams and Saint-Jacques exchanged stories about living in orbit. A group of high school students then had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ask questions to astronaut David Saint-Jacques in space.
“Several years ago, driven by curiosity and a passion for science and technology, I studied engineering to understand how things worked. I now have the humbling privilege to live this extraordinary adventure. It is the most incredible opportunity to keep learning and to gain a new and rare perspective on our planet, our universe and humanity.”
David Saint-Jacques, CSA astronaut
“It’s a very special day for me to see a fellow Canadian, David Saint-Jacques, in space, as I was there more than 10 years ago. As a Saskatoon native, I am pleased to see so many local students raising their eyes to space and seeing how science can open doors to new horizons!”
Dave Williams, former CSA astronaut
“The Spectrum team is very excited to kick off our event with a live stream with David! This is an incredible opportunity for us to partner with the CSA in our shared mission of promoting education and exploration in science and engineering!”
Gillian Leach, Cameco Spectrum 2019 Coordinator and civil engineering student at University of Saskatchewan
Spectrum is a triennial student-run event that inspires, educates, and promotes exploration in science, technology, and engineering. From January 10 to 13, Spectrum 2019 will feature displays, interactive exhibits, workshops, competitions, and speakers that explain and showcase scientific concepts and technological innovations.
To engage young Canadians in science and related disciplines, the CSA is coordinating and collaborating with partners to deliver a wide variety of activities and contests during David’s mission. Here are some examples:
- Contest – Bring space to your school: Canadian schools are invited to enter a contest to host an event with CSA astronaut David Saint-Jacques while he is in space! Deadline for submissions is February 28, 2019.
- Radi-N2 and You: While David measures radiation levels aboard the ISS as part of the Radi-N2 experiment, classrooms across Canada can do the same on Earth.
- Astro Pi challenge: Develop your own code, and it may run on the Space Station! Two different complexity levels make Astro Pi accessible to students with or without coding experience.