David Loerts thinks someday he’s like to run the Canadarm at the International Space Station.
The 12 year-old student from Wyoming Public School is dreaming big after listening to Sarnia-born astronaut Chris Hadfield. The former commander of the ISS kept an audience of hundreds of school children from across the region engaged as he gave them a glimpse of what it was like to live in space during at talk at SCITS in Sarnia.
Loerts was one of the students chosen from Wyoming for his interest in science. After hearing Hadfield talk about space, Loerts admits he might like to trying space travel some day. “Yeah, I’d like to explore,” he says “explore all the planets. It would be pretty cool.
“I’d like to operate the Canadarm,” Loerts quickly adds.
His friend, Morgan Kernohan, 11, agreed. “It would be great grabbing random stuff in space.”
Their excitement was obvious to their teacher, Carolyn Bus, who admitted to being a little star-struck also. “I spent par of the time watching their reactions,” she says adding the students’ eyes were lighting up with interest. Bus says one student told her this was “one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.”
Madyson Summerville, 11, of Brigden Public School, had also been interested in space and now is thinking about the possibilities of following in Hadfield’s famous footsteps. When asked if she’d want to go to space Summerville replied “Ya! Now that I know about it I do.”
That could take a while. Hadfield says he decided he wanted to go to space when he was just a young boy living in Sarnia and made conscious decisions to become one. It took years of training and “a degree every time you go to space” before his dreams were realized.
But he urged the kids to think ahead and reach their goals.
“Every single one of you is going to grow up to be something whether you chose it or not …start thinking about it now because it is amazing what a kid from Sarnia can do with enough time and opportunity.”