Astronaut Chris Hadfield Thanks Students in Nova Scotia
He was the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station. Over one million earthlings followed him on Twitter as he orbited the earth and tweeted spectacular pictures from outer space. He took to YouTube to show earthlings what life was like in zero gravity. He’s been called a “rock star” and is personally credited with renewing people’s interest in (and fascination with) space.
And during the school’s convocation ceremony on June 12th, Col (Ret’d) Chris Hadfield was able to thank the staff and students at Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) for playing their own role in helping him share his adventures on the ISS with people across the world.
Dave MacLean, who teaches geography and computer mapping at the college’s Lawrencetown campus, took the pictures that Hadfield was tweeting from space and created an interactive online map that plotted Hadfield’s daily photos and tweets.
Via Skype, Hadfield was able to thank MacLean and his students for taking his images from outer space and organizing them in a way that allowed viewers to pinpoint exactly where in the world the photos had been taken.
“It’s been a unique learning experience for students,” says MacLean, “because they get to add state-of-the-art mapping capabilities they will use on the job.”
Hadfield accepted an honorary diploma from NSCC’s School of Trades and Technology, and took the time to give students some important advice.
“Enjoy every single day, not just the momentous ones,” said Hadfield. “Celebrate the small victories and pleasures that each day brings. Each day is a blank slate on which to draw your life.”
He also encouraged the students to remember the people who helped them achieve their success and to make an effort to help others achieve an education in the future.
“This master communicator brought us aboard the space station and opened our eyes and hearts to earth and our connections to each other,” said Isabel Madeira-Voss, principal of NSCC’s Annapolis Valley Campus.
“What started as a learning tool for NSCC faculty and students has grown into a resource for thousands of followers of this amazing Canadian explorer.”
The interactive map that MacLean and his students created has been viewed by more than 120,000 people from roughly 80 countries.