Former NASA Astronaut Visits Calgary

Dr. Mary Ellen Weber speaking to an audience in Calgary

U.S. Consulate General Calgary hosted Dr. Mary Ellen Weber, former NASA astronaut, science leader, and avid skydiver on May 22 and 23 during her final stop on a two-week tour across Canada. Dr. Weber connected with over 1000 people by appearing on a live webcast, participating at a roundtable with researchers and innovators, presenting with Alberta Women and Science Network (AWSN), and visiting students at the TsuuT’ina First Nations Reserve.

In partnership with Virtual Research on Call (VROC), schools from across Canada were invited to register and stream a live webcast of Dr. Weber. Three classrooms, one each in Alberta, Ontario and Nunavut had the opportunity to ask her questions directly while the other 78 participating classrooms used twitter to pose questions using #AskVroc. Weber answered questions such as: ‘when did you realize you wanted to be an astronaut?’, and ‘what is your favorite space movie?’

Dr. Weber also met with researchers at the University of Calgary and other local prominent leaders in innovation, commercialization and space exploration. They shared information on current research projects such as New Earth Space Technologies and Dr. Weber provided insights on enhancing and building upon these projects. She also spoke about the bright future of space exploration and international collaboration efforts.

Delivering her message of hard work, perseverance and opportunity-seeking, Dr. Weber spoke to over 500 young people during the balance of her time in Calgary while visiting a school and giving a public presentation. She urged each audience member to “try something new and discover their dreams.”

To see photos from Dr. Weber’s visit, check out our Flickr album.