On Friday 20th November, a lucky group of over 80 school students from across the UK met Charlie Duke, the NASA astronaut who became the tenth and youngest man to walk on the moon in 1972. This was the fantastic finale for the day at the National Space Centre in Leicester during which the students participated in workshops linked to space exploration, astronomy and physics, supported by STEM Ambassadors from local businesses. The strong message that these young people were given throughout the day was that they will be able to find lots of opportunities in the thriving UK space industry and that one of them might even become a British astronaut.
In the evening, Charlie Duke spoke to an invited audience of 500 at the University of Leicester.
Charlie Duke described his amazing experiences on Apollo missions, how his STEM skills helped him in his role, and how he is able to encourage and inspire young people to reach their goals and beyond.
I was fascinated to hear about how it felt to go into space and to walk on the moon from one of the very few people who has experienced it. The astronauts obviously had a bit of fun on the moon. The audience enjoyed the story about Charlie Duke and his fellow astronaut trying their ‘Space Olympics’. Mission control scolded him when he fell over after attempting a high jump. Damage to your backpack could prove fatal and getting up on the moon is not easy.
These events were organised by STEMNET, the National Space Centre and the University of Leicester.