Women in the field of science and space exploration will be honored and showcased this weekend as Grand Rapids Public Museum and Grand Valley State University's Roger That! returns for a special celebration.
Roger That! celebrates space exploration and the life of Grand Rapids native, Roger B. Chaffee, a former American naval officer and aviator aeronautical engineer, and NASA astronaut in the Apollo program.
The event features STEM K-12 school programming from both partner organizations in the form of an academic and public conference at GVSU, and a public celebration at the museum.
On February 18 and 19, people can head to the museum learn more about space exploration with hands-on activities hosted by both the museum and community partners including building stations where attendees can design their own rockets and paper airplanes, astronaut challenges, artifact interactions including meteorite samples, tektite, and more.
Plus there will be multiple shows in the Chaffee Planetarium throughout the weekend celebrating space exploration.
GVSU will host a free academic conference on Friday, where speeches from women in the field of space exploration and science will be available in person and virtually, over Zoom.
Colonel Eileen Collins, the first female to pilot a U.S. spacecraft, will be the keynote speaker. Tickets are sold out for her GRPM seminar, however, Collins will speak at 6:30 p.m. February 18 at the Loosemore Auditorium on GVSU’s Pew Grand Rapids Campus. The lecture is free through registration at the Roger That! website. It will also be live-streamed.
Additional speakers include:
- Computational Chemist Michelle Francl
- Space Historian Catherine Newell
- Planetary Scientist Louise Prockter
- Space Educator Czarina Salido
- Bioastronautics Researcher and Spacesuit Technician Yvette Gonalez
- Space Media Archivist Megan Prelinger
- Electrical Engineer Heidi Jiao
- Space Historian and Eileen Collins’ Biographer Jonathan Ward
The events being held at GVSU this year will be free, as will the virtual talks, but guests must register.
People can participate in Roger That! on February 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is included with general admission to the museum.
Learn more by visiting grpm.org/RogerThat.