NASA astronaut and microbiologist Kate Rubins is visiting New Zealand and taking part in a STEM in the Community programme.
Record-breaking NASA astronaut and microbiologist Dr Kate Rubins will be touching down in New Zealand for the first time and taking part in a STEM in the Community programme.
The programme is run by Tauranga STEM Festival (STEMFest)/STEM Wana Trust.
Stem is science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects.
Rubins will be touring the central North Island, visiting Palmerston North, Taupō, Rotorua and Tauranga early January.
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She will start her tour at Palmerston North’s Te Manawa Museum on January 8 with an interactive workshop for families, stopping off at Taupō and Rotorua on January 9 for a meet and greet with young space and science fans, culminating in a waterfront evening under the stars at Tauranga’s Strand on January 10.
Rubins was the first person to sequence DNA in space, successfully sequencing samples of mouse, bacteria and virus DNA in microgravity.
During her two space flight missions, she has logged 300 days in space and conducted four spacewalks.
She was inspired to learn about the stars with her dad, going to local star-gazing gatherings and science museums as early as she could remember.
From the age of 6 she knew she wanted to be an astronaut and had always been fascinated with science and exploring the world. Something that hadn’t changed.
STEMFest founder Tia Lush said: “We’re thrilled to be able to welcome Dr Rubins to Aotearoa and introduce her to our STEM-loving tamariki and rangatahi.
“Our goal for this tour is to bring the opportunity of meeting a real-life NASA astronaut directly to the community, without the barriers of expensive tickets, family unfriendly venues and outside of the usual big city hubs.
“We hope that with these free engagements we see a variety of people of all ages and backgrounds who might never have thought they could meet an astronaut feel inspired to pursue their dreams.
“The success of STEMFest has shown that we are a nation of curious thinkers and space is another field where Aotearoa New Zealand’s future workforce will need creative problem solvers and we encourage whānau to get along to one of the locations and to bring their curiosity.”
It’s free to attend any of the locations, but tickets are required. Visit stemfest.nz for details.
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