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I Want to Be an Astronaut

Space_galaxyMost young children dream of one day going to space. Who doesn’t want to be an astronaut, exploring the galaxy and seeing the universe in a way so few ever will?

Recently, NASA offered an interesting editorial piece debunking some of the myths about becoming an astronaut, myths that have likely discouraged countless potential space travelers. NASA made clear that future astronauts need not have piloting experience, perfect vision, a Ph.D., or military experience to serve in the space program.

What is needed? While there are a number of academic and physical requirements that must be demonstrated, the first item on the NASA requirements list is clear. All astronauts need a degree in a STEM field.

We regularly hear how important science, technology, engineering, and math background is to career success here on Earth. It is just as important for a career beyond this planet.

STEM may very well become a non-negotiable when it comes to future learning. It will be interesting, as new ERCA research on student perceptions of STEM education comes out next year, if space travel is one of the aspirations for current STEM learners.

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