Countdown has begun to the Ottawa School of Art (Shenkman Centre) Space Camp: “To Mars and beyond” for ages 9 to 12! David will be leading the art program and I have a number of cool space projects up my sleeve.
Each “astronaut trainee” will have a Space Suit (painter’s overalls with individual red band I.D. striping so they know which suit belongs to them, name tag and mission patch). At the end of the day, space suits are returned to their hangers in the Space Lab! Our main projects for the week are: “building” the Canadarm and understanding what it does, building a solar array with gold film on panels of foam core (so that they understand where the energy for power on the International Space Station comes from) and learning what life is like in space: what do astronauts eat? Where does the water come from? What happens if they get sick?
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) very generously sent me a box full of posters (Chris Hadfield, Julie Payette, Robert Thirsk…), mission stickers and instructor’s manuals for helping children understand some of the experiments, like how to grow food, etc.
The format for the week is space-related art in the morning and in the afternoon they also get to work in the Space Lab!
My hope is to help accelerate the formation of Canadian seedlings for the space effort. I’m all in – we need to expand our understanding of our universe. The time frame involved can be difficult to wrap our heads around, but I’m convinced that a healthy portion of human effort wishes and is designed just for this. I spent some time working at the CSA – I miss it all and the amazing people there!
For details of the Ottawa School of Art’s March Break Program visit artottawa.ca