On January 28, the third to eighth grade students of Saint Lawrence Elementary and Middle School were treated to a truly out of this world experience by astronaut Steven L. Smith. The gym was filled with wonder as Smith shared details about living in space, photographs from his space walks and inspirational messages. Organized by Mr. Hector, parent of two Saint Lawrence students, this experience was truly unforgettable for all attendees.
The presentation started with the story of a boy who dreamed of being an astronaut. Although obstacles and challenges arose, this boy fought through 5 failed attempts at reaching this dream. The boy was Steven Smith. Smith re-iterated his message of perseverance throughout his time with the students, asking them, “What do you do in life if you fall down?” The engaged students roared in unison, “GET BACK UP!”
Students learned intimate details of outer space travel, living and training. They learned about the importance of Velcro, waterless shampoo and how to sleep on the ceiling. Smith talked about time in space and wearing two watches–one for home time and anther for space time–and he explained why shuttles launch from Florida (it’s the closest place to the Equator in the U.S.)
As the presentation came to a close, Smith re-visited his inspirational messages from his opener. His wise words were to, “Remember, it’s what’s inside that counts!” and, “Get back up!” Students excitedly asked questions about many things (including aliens and bathroom basics in zero gravity—the two most often asked questions Smith has received in 27 years of his work).
Smith ended his time in the Saint Lawrence with an image that only an outer space traveler could relate to; Earth is “a beautiful little island in a big black ocean.”