Grade 7 and 8 students had a wonderful opportunity to be transported to outer space. Although they didn't quite have to leave the atmosphere for this experience, they certainly got closer by being in the presence of, and hearing first hand accounts from, someone who had - astronaut Terry Virts, a celebrated NASA astronaut and National Geographic author. Their field trip, on Thursday, November 17th, 2022 took them to the Burlington Performing Arts Centre, where they enjoyed the Speaker Series, "National Geographic Live: View from Above".
By Tea Grozev, Grade 8 Student
On November 17,2022, the grade 7 and 8 classes went to the Burlington Performing Arts Centre to see a show about Terry Virts and his adventures on the International Space Station. Terry Virts is a former NASA astronaut who, in his last trip in 2015, spent seven months on the International Space Station. During the presentation, he showed us photographs of the northern lights, the atmosphere, a lightning storm, and others which were all taken from the Space Station. He even showed us a video of a zero-gravity experience. He told us how in space, you lose bone density unless you exercise at least 2.5 hours per day. They use a machine holding you in place while you run or lift or do squats on the floor, wall or ceiling.
Terry Virts first started his journey of becoming an astronaut when he was very young. When he was a child he loved space. When he was in flight school, he was the youngest one there. While there, NASA announced that they were recruiting a new crew of astronauts, Terry
immediately, took that opportunity, and sent in an application. All of his classmates told him he would not get in - he was too young, too inexperienced, and that there was no point; but guess what? He was chosen. His message to us was to “never give up on your dreams."
Some Grade 7 Students also share their takeaways from their trip.
"When I went to BPAC to hear an astronaut speak about his experiences in space, I was amazed. I did not realize how different life was in space like having to strap yourself down when working out or going into a small cubicle to sleep."
"You have to work out in space because on earth, your muscles work to keep you standing but in space, you float. Therefore, you have to work out to keep your body strong, healthy and functional."
- Vidushi Uthappa
"What inspired me the most about the astronaut's talk was what he saw in space such as his pictures of the Milky Way, the eye of the hurricane, the northern lights and lightning."
- Alana Petrauskaite
"After hearing Terry (the astronaut) speak, I would not want to go into space because I am claustrophobic. But I was amazed by the views of the earth Terry saw from space. We live on a beautiful planet."
- Nate Adams