Select Page

Thursday mornings are a great time for exploration and learning, excitement, and inspiration, which is exactly what we found today. Through Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants ( 3rd and 4th graders at Tudor got the opportunity to “hang out” with the one and only Emily Calandrelli; author, explorer, MIT engineer, science communicator, TV show producer and host, with tons to share.

Right away, Emily reminded us of why we are so inspired by her! Not only does she get to travel the country to interview scientists and engineers working on incredible space and rocket science, and also even some that are looking for aliens on other planets! Just one of the many cool opportunities Emily got to do was to skydive out of a plane to show how parachutes help robots land on other planets. She even gets to be a correspondent on Bill Nye Saves the World (on Netflix) which is global! (A link to a great TED talk Emily did can be found here)

Learning about the cool space stuff happening across the world, excited us to be go-getters and pursue our science passions as well. We learned about a group of 20 year old engineers from India that are working on becoming one of the first private companies to land a robot on the moon, Team Indus. You can learn more about them here and here

Emily continued on to inspire us to think about science stories and embrace the adventure that comes with the love of science. This love for adventure and science, especially in girls, motivated her to write the children’s book series Ada Lace, which we happen to own in our library!

It was pretty exciting to hear about how Ms. Calandrelli got inspired to study space. In college, before she knew what kind of engineering she wanted to study, she saw a poster about doing homework weightless and she was hooked! Check out her excitement as she floats (we got to watch a video clip of her being a part of this)!

Our ears really perked up as she began to talk about why she loves space science. She shared that space science asks two of the most important questions: “Where did we come from?” & “Are we alone?”… A theory we were introduced today was PANSPERMIA, which she explained as the “theory that life hitchhikes over the universe using meteorites” and that some scientists believe that life existed on Mars. Nearly 4 billion years ago, life was even more habitable on Mars than on Earth, and there is a theory that would make us martians!

The way that space scientists are looking for aliens now, is through radio telescopes, like this one, Green Bank Telescopes, in West Virginia.

We learned that only half of the earth has internet today, which allows people to grow and evolve. Space is working on changing that! In case we didn’t already think Emily Calandrelli was spectacularly amazing, we learned about how she built a high altitude weather balloon attached to a box and with cameras (so the world could watch it) as she announced she was going to be having a baby! How cool is that?

While no balloon has ever made it to space, she was able to get this great shot, out towards the edges of the atmosphere.

In our session today, we also learned about Astronaut Christina returning today from a record 328 days in space! You can learn more about her here.

All the classes participating in today’s Virtual Connection with Emily Calandelli through Zoom and on YouTube Live had great questions that allowed us to learn way beyond what we ever thought. You can watch the whole recording of today’s session by checking out the Nat Geo Chanel on YouTube or by clicking here

Check out a couple of our amazing questions, below!