Space Lab and the Lure of Space

When I remember back to my days as a student, and I think of the lasting “academic” memories, one of the few specifics that remains as a strong visual is a science fair project I did. It is curious to me that of all the memories that could be this permanent, the one I remember has nothing to do with math or even more so the teacher.

As a student I was very passionate about math and beyond math there were many teachers of whom I have great memories, but this particular science project was neither. So I often wonder why I can remember it so clearly.

The project I had created was a computer program that would display the night sky based on the date. (I wonder if I should talk to some IP lawyers about Google’s SkyMap, wink.) Sure it was computer-related, but I have had many other computer “hobbies” that are not so fresh in my mind. So what was it about that project that has etched itself into my mind? One plausible answer is the lure of space.

There is something special about that deep darkness that creates a passion for exploration and investigation. In our history there have been many amazing accomplishments, but very few create as much wonder and excitement as those beyond our atmosphere.

Hopefully the Space Lab competition will foster similar experiences to mine, and that today’s generation of students will embrace the opportunity to reach for the stars.

If you have any lasting academic memories of a project, please share in the comments below.