ISH was over the moon to welcome NASA astronaut Steven Lee Smith to the school to share with us his thoughts and inspiring story.
The overarching message he wanted to leave the students with was this:
- "The earth is our island"
- This island is spectacular
- We need to take care of our island
- Limit the damage
- Conserve natural resources
- Use sustainable resources
And with this all it's important that we are nice to other people!
Steve's message resonated with both students and staff because of the very candid and honest recount he gave of his life and career to get to where he is today. Throughout all of this he tried to make clear that it doesn't matter what you look like, whether you're a boy or a girl, and no matter where you come from, if you're determined, you can get to where you want to go.
He illustrated his determination by showing the four rejection letters he received from NASA before his final acceptance letter on the fifth try over a total of ten years. He explained how he attempted to better himself after each rejection and in the end it paid off.
Astronaut Smith wanted to pass on the following advice give:
- Write to people to ask for help
- Get as many books as you can
- Learn the skills you can
- Take calculated chances along the way
And of course he told the students about the peculiarities of living in zero gravity for such a long time. Some of which were having to sleep in a cocoon on the wall, having to use velcro to keep everything in place, and of course that there are no showers in space.
What a fun and educational day at ISH. Thanks to Steve for visiting and sharing. And a special thank you to Yarona van der Horst for organizing this for our students and staff.