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Intersection: From Astronaut To Role Model

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STS-128 astronaut Nicole Stott participates in an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) spacesuit fit check in the Space Station Airlock Test Article (SSATA) in the Crew Systems Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Centre. Photo: NASA

As a NASA astronaut, Nicole Stott flew to the International Space Station and spent 3 months on the orbiting outpost. She tells 90.7’s Brendan Byrne why it’s important for women working in engineering and science to step up and inspire elementary and middle school girls to pursue STEM education.

“I really think it’s going to come down to being present, women that are in these fields being present for young girls,” says Stott.

“And that’s starting at elementary school, middle school. Because if we don’t get them by middle school, I think there’s kind of a detour they take, and it might just be a self confidence thing that goes with it.”

Stott, who’s a member of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Board of Trustees, was the only female in her senior advanced engineering design class when she was studying for her aeronautical engineering degree.

“When I go out as an astronaut and talk to people, my expectation isn’t that ever kid in that room is going to want to be an astronaut, it’s more that they’re going to see that I was able to do something I still pinch myself about, you know, why would they pick me,” says Stott.

“Whether it’s astronaut or anything else they choose to do, they should be thinking that same way too, that it’s possible.”

Education reporting on 90.7 News is supported by Helios Education Foundation.

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About Matthew Peddie

Matt Peddie