On April 12, I participated in my first Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (CPSX) Space Day. Space Day is an annual event held at Western University where space-related research is showcased by members of CPSX (mainly from the departments of Earth Sciences, Physics & Astronomy, and Electrical & Computer Engineering. This year the day consisted of 2 panels, poster session, social media for scientists workshop, an evening networking event, and a keynote presentation from a retired Canadian astronaut.
The day started off with a panel was about Space Resources. At this time, I was helping out at the registration desk and getting attendees and presenters checked in. Additionally , there were some difficulties with the sound system. So unfortunately, I couldn’t hear most of the panel. However, I got a good seat for the second panel on Canada’s role during the return to the Moon. I really enjoyed listening to all the panelists and their views on Canada’s current (robotic) contribution and upcoming scientific contributions as well.
Before lunch, I attended a workshop about using social media as a tool for teaching and networking. During this time, I learned tips and tools for science communication. One tool I would like to implement is using social media as a TA to engage students in science outside of the classroom.
And the final part of the day was student poster presentations. This was my first time presenting (preliminary) results about my thesis. There wasn’t a lot of traffic as my slot was in the second poster session of the day, so I think some people had left. However, I had a chance to talk to a few people about my work and got some useful tips which I hope to look into. Overall, it was a good opportunity to practice talking about my research and informally noting where I could improve.
One of the most exciting parts of this experience was meeting Dave Williams, a (retired) Canadian astronaut. He gave the final keynote presentation of the day in which he talked about his education and professional journey which led him to becoming an astronaut. His talk was really engaging and truly inspiring!