MSS21 Poster Competition Theme: “Pioneering Astrobiologists” [with ISU connections]

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“MSS21 Poster Competition Theme: “Pioneering Astrobiologists” [with ISU connections]” article below is written by ISU MSS21 Arya Gold.

With a theme on “Pioneering Astrobiologists,” the MSS 2021 Poster Competition kicked off the first half of October. Teams of students in the Master’s of Space Studies program (MSS) at International Space University (ISU) exhibited abject adherence to the International, Intercultural, and Interdisciplinary values of the institution. They presented on the following pillars within astrobiology: Pascale Ehrenfreund, Frances Westall, Jill Tarter, Gerry Soffen (RIP), Chris McKay, and Fred Hoyle (RIP). Each of the six teams took the onus of properly encapsulating the careers of this monumental group in respect to their contributions to the History of Science, Space Education, or Space Science.

In a highly informative display of competency regarding each astrobiologist’s career, teams brought their “A-game” to Pioneers hall (ISU), where the competition was held. Furthermore, six judges evaluated the poster event: President of ISU, Juan De Dalmau (SSP 1989), Ms. Danijela Stupar (MSS 2013), Ms. Stephanie Rocha (MSS 2019), Ms. Alexandra Ryan (SHSSP14), Mr. Ezequiel Gonzalez (MSS 2020), and Dr. Hugh Hill (Head Judge).

Dr. Hugh Hill, a resident professor at ISU, headed this event, and catalyzed teams to produce their best work in this intense competition. The competition was in fact so fierce that judges awarded 1st place to not one, but two teams, Team Chris Mckay, and Team Fred Hoyle; Team Pascale Ehrenfreund came in 3rd place.Main takeaways by participants consisted of feeling stronger as a team, engaging in equity regarding the input of ideas, improved time management, and an increased knowledge about pioneering astrobiologists. 

My group was one of the winning teams (Team Chris McKay), and I can say with assurance that what truly allowed us to stand apart from the competition was our undeniable sense of teamwork, effective poster design, and a sheer command of the intellectual achievements of Chris McKay’s career.

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