Photo credit: Canadian Space Agency
There was almost complete silence as the call into space was made. Nerves grew stronger with every attempt. Finally, the voice 450 grade 9 students from across Pembina Trails had been waiting to hear. Canadian astronaut, David St-Jacques, was on the other line.
The once in a lifetime opportunity was made possible by Shaftesbury High School staff, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, ISS and the Canadian Space Agency. For ten minutes students were able to speak directly with St-Jacques on board the ISS, only two days before he had completed his first spacewalk.
“The ISS contact with David Saint-Jacques was about celebrating our relationship with space and the importance of space in our lives. Space embodies the hopes and dreams of humanity, and is responsible for important technological advancements that keep us connected every day,” shared Shaftesbury High School teacher, Adrian Deakin.
The school has a long history of STEAM endeavours. Shaftesbury was chosen in part because of the students and staff’s ongoing interest in science and space.
“This event represents the fruits of many students’ labours in science inquiry at Shaftesbury for nearly a decade. I remain confident that a seed has been planted that will produce a generation of students who are passionate not only about space and science, but about learning.”
Read more about the space call on CBC.ca
ARISS is an international program aimed at inspiring students worldwide to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through amateur radio communications opportunities with the ISS crew. During David Saint-Jacques’ mission, Radio Amateurs of Canada hopes to establish as many as twenty contacts between the astronaut and youth, both in Canada and around the world.
Special thanks to Shaftesbury High School students for capturing some of the images below.