Many of you know that my children attended a sleepover event at the National Archives a few week ago. That event was incredibly amazing, and worthy of a blog post in of itself. However, today's post is going to focus on one specific part of the event: a talk from Charles Bolden.
Many of you know who Director Bolden is, he is an astronaut and former director of NASA. Some of you may have even seen the video I posted on YouTube a few years ago at the launching of the SMAP satellite. On that video he is answering a young child's question and gives a valuable response. Here is the video, the visual is dark but the audio is significant:
To learn more about him, read his NASA bio here.
When he spoke to the sleepover audience, the crowd was full of young children and their parents. The children raced to the microphone to ask him questions like what was his favorite food in space, and why did they have to send animals to space before they sent people. Below is my son Colton, thrilled that he was called on to ask a question.
Earlier in the evening, we had a chance to speak with Director Bolden as we completed some of the activities at the event. My daughter was so excited that he agreed to take a selfie with her after she asked!
Okay, back to his speech . Before question and answer time, he gave his two cents about space exploration. I took some notes on that and hat alone might be another blog post for the future. However, a good amount of his discussion centered around him giving advice to students today. Since that is extremely relevant to all of you, that is what I will share!
Here are his three points of suggestion (as summarized by me!)
1. Study really hard
2. Take every bit of math and science you can.
Elaborate: The harder the math and science class you take, the better, It is better to get a C in a hard class than an A in an easier class. Colleges and universities are getting smart, they are looking for well rounded students, not just students with high grades.
3. Don't be afraid of failure- you're as good as you make yourself to be.
No go back and reread numbers 2 and 3. There is so much there! I am constantly "arguing" with teachers who think that B and C students don't "belong" in honors classes, and here is the the former director of NASA who thinks that maybe they should! I am constantly getting emails from students who are afraid of 89s, who think that that is in fact, failing. What about my cross-country athletes whose fear of failure kept them from staying on the team because running is "too hard?" What would an astronaut say to you as a response? As educators and students, getting advice is valuable. Getting advice from Director Bolden is priceless. What will you do with that?