International Space University Open Day 13.03.16

In an amazing collective team effort the ISU staff, all volunteers, received some 1000 visitors this weekend at ISU. The event was strongly supported, not only by the present MSS class, but also attracted alumni, some covering considerable distances to come out and help.

Even the son of our Chinese BOT member, Gongling Sun, came over from Paris and was noted helping out at the rocket launches!

1A number of activities were organized by the students such as rocket launches (with the help from CNES, la Maison des Federations des Jeunes et de la Culture d’Alsace), simulations, visits to, and explanation of space hardware and utensils, mini-planetarium (thanks to The Planetarium Team of Strasbourg and Unistra) and Concurrent Design Facility explanations, space and art and many others.

At the same time publicity was provided for the new Women In Aerospace chapter established in ISU with a first opening session on 15 March 2016, in the presence of Maria Perino SSP88, one of the strong ISU supporters.

Two astronauts Dr. Claudie Haignere and Dr. Jean-Jacques Favier gave a number of presentations, which each were attended by some 200 people per session.

3In total there were 1,000 visitors (causing considerable parking problems!) also thanks to a free publicity offered by the Eurometropole in a local weekly publication distributed directly into the letter box of close to 200,000 in habitants!

A number of elements on a broader level deserve to be highlighted:

- There were many potential local students. The excellent contact with MSS students from different disciplines was an eye-opener for some of them that space was also interesting for them (architects, lawyers, just to name a few)
- Claudie Haignere, now special advisor to the ESA director general, left with a mass of ideas and very interesting thoughts, after extensive discussions with students
- The local partners, in particular Mme Trautmann (present with some other officials) were delighted about this outreach and the obvious increasingly strong effect of ISU on the local community
- It was again clear that space is an excellent tool for STEM, looking at the enthusiasm of the younger visitors
- Besides the present MSS students, who did a remarkable job, creating experiments and even a quiz, it was amazing to note the interest of alumni coming over to help.

Pictures of the event can be viewed on Flickr.

The students, but in particular the ISU lecturers and staff volunteering to be present at a weekend, deserve a strong recognition for this excellent ISU outreach action!
Walter Peeters
President, ISU