Space Workforce 2030’s National Space Day Shows Kids the Wonders of Space

Building off the success of this inaugural event, SWF2030 will lead an annual celebration of National Space Day and plans to expand every year to welcome more students get inspired by space.
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On May 3, Space Workforce 2030 (SWF2030) hosted its inaugural National Space Day event, a livestream broadcast that reached thousands of classrooms across the country, sparking the curiosity and imagination of 4th and 5th grade students to consider the incredible possibilities of space – and more importantly – their future in it.

Nearly 7,000 teachers registered to have their classrooms participate on the day of the event, including educators from every U.S. state, as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, and in every Canadian province but one. In fact, there were classrooms registered in 48 countries, spanning all of the continents other than Antarctica. Moreover, SWF2030 companies – including Aerospace – also hosted in-person viewing events for student groups. More than 325 students participated at Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Blue Origin locations.

A recording of the event is available on the SWF2030 website and on YouTube, and has been viewed over 465K times.

“I know that the impact of our work reaches far beyond classrooms—it is also reaching into homes and other organizations today to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and explorers,” said Mel Stricklan, Executive Director of SWF2030. “Our mission is clear: to bring the stars within reach for ALL and eliminate the talent gap, once and for all.”

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SWF2030 companies hosted students on their campuses to celebrate National Space Day, joining SWF2030 Executive Director Mel Stricklan (bottom center) and classrooms all across the country to participate in the broadcast event. 

SWF2030, a strategic partnership between Aerospace and Space Foundation, is a consortium of 30 leading space companies, all committed to working together to INSPIRE, PREPARE and EMPLOY a space workforce that can support the dynamic and diverse needs of the nation’s space missions for generations to come.

“SWF2030 is about building a stronger, more robust workforce that will enable our nation’s space industry to thrive into the future,” said Alison Bauerlein, Principal Director at Aerospace and lead for National Space Day. “A big part of that mission is to inspire students to get excited about STEM and space science, and to show kids that there is a place in our industry for them to build amazing careers.”

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Aerospace leaders and experts, including President and CEO Steve Isakowitz (right) and Corporate Social Responsibility Associate Director Lianne McGinley, joined in on the National Space Day festivities to inspire kids.

The program highlighted the many ways space-based capabilities are relied on today as well as the exciting missions, technologies and projects that are pushing innovation forward for future generations. Whether it’s working on reusable rockets, fighting climate change, or returning humans to the Moon – the amazing opportunities of space were on full display. Kids had the chance to hear from astronauts, scientists and engineers, and even CEOs—many of whom were even once kids themselves—about how they’re pursuing their passion for space.

Presented in partnership with NASA, and in collaboration with the Smithsonian Science Education Center, Blue Origin’s Club for the Future and Space4All, National Space Day included an out-of-this-world lineup of featured speakers, including national space leaders like Lt. Gen. Shawn Bratton of the U.S. Space Force, Pam Melroy of NASA, Chirag Parikh of the National Space Council, Laurie Leshin of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Chris Scolese of the National Reconnaissance Office. In addition, commercial space pioneers like Gwynne Shotwell of SpaceX and Tim Ellis of Relativity Space, along with world-class researchers Dr. Daniel Hastings of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Ellen Stofan of the Smithsonian answered kids’ questions about space. The broadcast was hosted by space science communicator Emily Calandrelli and Aerospace’s Jordyn Bingham.

“What we really want to leave you with here today is the understanding that a future in the space industry is available to you. There are opportunities, no matter how old or young you are to get involved in space,” Calandrelli said in the broadcast. “There’s no shortage of space…in the space industry.”

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Students participated with their classmates in-person on online for the National Space Day broadcast event.

As part of the event, teachers who registered received a space a list of space education resources to help launch their students’ exploration for scientific understanding and inspire them to consider a future in the field. Students were also encouraged to submit responses on what they think space will be like in the future and rewarded with a unique National Space Day mission patch for doing so. Highlights of the submissions will be shared with NASA.

In April, Congress passed a resolution to officially establish May 3 as National Space Day “in recognition of the significant positive impact the aerospace community has and will continue to have on the United States of America.”

Building off the success of this inaugural event, SWF2030 will lead an annual celebration of National Space Day and plans to expand every year to welcome more students of any age to get inspired by space.

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