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November 15, 2019

Blast Off!

Castle News

It was a pleasure welcoming Brian Ewenson, an aerospace educator and consultant on aviation and space programs, to the School this week. Students had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Ewenson and participate in one of his interesting workshops, ranging from working in space, living aboard the International Space Station and earth exploration using space technology.

Mr. Ewenson is a former astronaut trainer with the Canadian Space Agency, Lockheed Martin and NASA. He has designed, developed and flown eight experiments in space aboard the Space Shuttle and has served as an Air and Space Museum Director in Calgary, Arizona, Wyoming and Wisconsin. With such an extensive background in space, students in all grades were thrilled to learn from Mr. Ewenson.

Grade 4 to 6 students participated in Mr. Ewenson’s Living and Working in Space workshop. There, the girls had the opportunity to hear about the challenges of living and working in a microgravity environment. For those who want to be astronauts when they grow up (and there were many!), Mr. Ewenson also spoke about what it takes to be an astronaut, including advanced degrees in medicine, science or engineering. The girls got a laugh when Mr. Ewenson listed the other very real job requirements: sitting on top of 4 million pounds of dynamite in a rocket, being shot into space at 27,500 km/h, remaining in a microgravity environment for days to years and returning to earth in a small capsule. Students were also amazed to hear how your body transforms while in space. For example, Mr. Ewenson wowed the girls with facts like your heart shrinks 8-10 per cent of its size, you have the inability to control blood pressure and you lose muscle mass and bone density.

The International Space Station (ISS) was a topic of conversation for our Grade 6 to 8 students who participated in Mr. Ewenson’s workshop on Living and Working Together on the ISS. Students enjoyed demonstrations of a rendezvous, docking and simulated spacewalk.

Grade 9 to 12 students were shown over 100 photos from space in their Earth Observation and Environment workshop. The photos showed both the human-made and natural effects on our planet, including tornados, hurricanes, algae blooms, oil spills, pollution, glaciers and more.

Thank you to Mr. Ewenson for spending the day at Trafalgar and for widening our view of space.

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