Author: Whitney Owens
Chief Learning Officer. Shakespeare nerd and book-loving mama. Floury hands and grass-stained knees. Passionate about saving the world, one museum experience at a time.
“she whom the moon ruled
levitating into the night sky…”– Adrienne Rich, “Planetarium”
Last week on October 18, NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir accomplished the first-ever all-female spacewalk. For nearly eight hours, they worked outside the International Space Station to replace a broken power unit. It was Koch’s fourth spacewalk and Meir’s first.
This historic event generated a lot of excitement in CMC’s offices. Staff who lead our work with Girl Scouts, as well as those who lead our STEM Girls programs – which connect girls with female mentors to help them stay engaged in STEM studies and careers – cheered on this historic accomplishment for women. Team members supporting our wonderful new featured exhibit, Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission, and Apollo 11: First Steps Edition OMNIMAX® film witnessed the next step in the legacy of that first landing on the Moon. Youth Programs participants who lead programming in CMC’s new Neil Armstrong Space Exploration Gallery saw the direct application of concepts they share with guests. And educators who work with Head Start teachers to add science content to the pre-K curriculum saw what can happen when our earliest learners hold on to their dreams and grow up to do big things.
Whatever your source of inspiration in this event, I hope you paused amidst a busy week to appreciate the two smart, brave women who orbited overhead, and the team of engineers, designers, communications specialists, scientists, caregivers and teachers who helped them get there. It may be one small step for women, but it’s one giant leap for humankind.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We invite our museum staff to submit blogs on subjects they are passionate about so that others may bask in their enthusiasm and expertise.