The Day an Astronaut Came to School

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The Space Broncos is a student organization that organizes big NASA outreach events on the Boise State campus. The goal is bring awareness to the NASA opportunities for research, internships and other involvement with the space agency.

Our first event was a downlink with the International Space Station and Commander Steve Swanson. This astronaut has a story of perseverance. He was working as a computer engineer and he decided he wanted to try to be an astronaut he applied to the program and was rejected. To make his application look better he went back to school to get his doctorate and applied again. This time he got passed the first round but again didn’t make it. He applied the third time and this time he was accepted. His story is an inspiration to me because I have no idea what it will be like when I apply to be an astronaut but perseverance will count.

Commander Swanson’s parents are amazing people as well. While he was in space they came to a couple of our events and told his story. His father was also an engineer and he is standing behind me in the picture above.

Commander Swanson took a Boise State hat up with him in space and after he finished his six month mission in space he came back to Boise State to give a special talk in person. This was amazing because we packed out one of the biggest ballrooms in the Student Union Building and had people standing at the door. I had the privilege of being one of the emcee’s that night.

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The blue football field at Boise State is legendary across the country and we had the special opportunity to honor Commander Swanson and his return to Earth at the halftime show. We all got to walk on the field and wave to the stands as they announced the different NASA organizations that students have worked with in the pass. Commander Swanson brought the Boise State hat that he took in space and presented it to President Kustra on the field.

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This was the second NASA event that was put on with the help of the Space Broncos. And since I am president I was trying to think of ideas for what we could do next. I had no idea what I was about to get myself into the very next semester.

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Cami is about to start her senior year in Mechanical Engineering at Boise State University. She currently holds a Machine Learning internship at HP and is looking to break into industry with Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. After starting with the NASA Aerospace High School Scholars she has also participated in other NASA programs such as Microgravity University Undergraduate Research. She is also a committed and active volunteer for other STEM and Diversity groups and organizations. Stay tuned to see what she does next!

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