The moniker of STEM… Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math appears throughout the world intending to raise awareness with respect to the need for young people to pursue these fields of study. Adding the A for arts, brings everything full circle, yielding a big picture view that captures the essence of what Astronaut Anderson believes are key educational and professional pursuits. After all, painting is — in its simplest form — chemistry. Playing a musical instrument — whether it be a guitar or trombone — conforms to basic laws of physics. And what better way to help induce a more socially empathetic and aware society, than by invoking STEAM to produce a cadre of well-rounded scholars?
STEAM also serves as a solid foundational lexicon. In all educational disciplines –when one tries to “talk” or “learn” in a specific language– having a basic grasp of relevant vocabulary is critical for all youth. More so, with those who have a passion to follow a career or educational path in a STEAM-related field (or maybe even one day become an Astronaut!), one simple word –introduced at an early age– can open a whole new universe in a young mind. In writing A is for Astronaut: Blasting Through the Alphabet, Anderson seeks to emphasize the importance of this exposure, i.e., a simple awareness of, or introduction to, certain words that will one day lead to more in-depth knowledge and understanding of its meaning and the discipline(s) that surround it. Promoting STEAM education is a key component to enable students and adults alike, to compete worldwide in all education and employment venues. Astronaut Anderson’s presentations are intended to do just that… using his life’s lessons of perseverance and his passion to succeed, to inspire and suggest how the benefits of a STEAM-focused approach can be a critical asset in pursuing one’s dreams while creating a more well-rounded citizenry.
“The Dream of a Lifetime”
Hop into the flight suit pocket of US Astronaut, Clayton Anderson, and learn about the journey of this small-town Nebraska boy who spent 167 days living and working in space. Anderson, who was “kicked to the curb” by NASA 14 times before his ultimate selection, went on to become a veteran spacewalker ranked 30th on the world’s list, with nearly 40 hours working in the vacuum of space over 6 spacewalks.
Anderson’s story of humility, perseverance, and hard work gives a unique personal perspective into his life and an openly human look at what it takes to be a successful “steely-eyed astronaut.” Entertaining and informative, Anderson will challenge all to examine how they may apply the same concepts to their everyday work and personal lives.
“Turn Pages into Dreams”
As a youngster, Clayton Anderson simply LOVED to read. Cast into the pages of Superman and Batman comic books; or following the serial adventures of the affable would-be sleuths Frank and Joe Hardy; or uncovering clues with the intellectual baseball-pitching Brains Benton and James “Jimmy” Carson, Anderson found his dreams could be fueled within the pages of a good book. Now a three-time author, reaching young and old alike, audiences will revel in Anderson’s story-telling of how he got there –from a small-town boy, to United States Astronaut, to respected author– injecting is humor and passion at every turn.
“You Are Just Like Me!”
Growing up in a small Midwest town and achieving great things are often misconstrued as being mutually exclusive. In this entertaining and informative presentation, Anderson shows his audience how they ARE just like him. With personal stories and anecdotes, Anderson illustrates how we may take advantage of the nurturing and mentoring benefits from the community that raised us. Then, coupled with proper focus, hard work, and a little bit of luck, Anderson provides some simple –and realistic– viewpoints intended to help put all on a path to their personal “mission” success.
“Never a Commander, Always a Leader”
A two-time Shuttle and ISS Astronaut, logging over 167 days living and working in outer space, Anderson would never serve in the coveted slot of Mission Commander. Undaunted by this apparent management oversight, Anderson’s career reflects consistent leadership in all facets of his NASA endeavors. Through the process of pursuing his lifelong dream of preparing to live and work in outer space, fertile ground is provided for developing and enhancing one’s personal management and leadership style. Through his unique on-orbit perspective, Anderson offers some simple leadership tenets that could prove helpful to you and your organization as you tackle your future successes!
“For the Beauty of the Earth”
Spending 152 days floating above our beautiful planet changes one’s “orbital” perspective of the spaceship we call Earth. Through photos taken during his expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), Anderson provides an entertaining and reflective discussion of life onboard the United States’ most complex technical achievement. Beginning with challenging the audience in a “pseudo” game of Jeopardy –and the category of “US and World Geography for $5000”– the presentation focuses on how his life changing experience led to a strengthening of both his understanding of our planet’s fragility and his personal journey of faith.