MOREHEAD, Ky. — Astronaut Drew Feustel spoke to Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics students live from the International Space Station on Sept. 21 at the Space Science Center on the campus at Morehead State University.
The Craft Academy is a two-year residential early college high school serving approximately 120 high school juniors and seniors at Morehead State.
Feustel spoke with the youth about the importance of STEM education and careers. Kelly Knight Craft, U.S. ambassador to Canada, asked Feustel three questions on behalf of Craft Academy students where he then responded directly to the students.
“It’s kind of fulfilling one of my dreams because I grew up watching videos of astronauts on the internet and just being like, ‘I wish I could ask them my own questions,’” said Alayna Bennett, a junior in the Craft Academy. “And I love hearing them talk because they’re so inspirational and hardworking.”
Feustel earned a bachelor of science in solid earth sciences, a master of science in geophysics at Purdue University and a Ph.D. in geological sciences specializing in seismology at Queens University in Ontario, Canada.
“It’s really great that we’re able to highlight an astronaut on the International Space Station that has the expertise in geology,” said Jennifer Carter, assistant director of academic services at the Craft Academy. “When you think about a geologist you think about going out on the ground on planet Earth. You don’t think about a geologist working on the International Space Station.”
Following the event, Dr. Ben Malphrus, executive director of the Space Science Center, talked to the students about the use of the International Space Station as an experimental platform for missions built by the Space Science Center.
“I think the event provides an opportunity for our students to see people at work in a STEM profession,” Carter added, “I think it opens and broadens the minds of our students to international relationships, international collaborations and the value of working with other nations.”
The event was arranged by the U.S. Embassy in Canada and co-hosted by Craft. Joe and Kelly Craft of Lexington, Ky., initially pledged $4 million in support of the academy, which was the single largest cash gift in the history of the university.
Additional information about the Craft Academy is available at www.moreheadstate.edu/craft-academy or by calling (606) 783-2093.