Between 26-29 May 2017, we participated in the International Space Development Conference (ISDC) organised by the National Space Society (NSS) in St. Louis, USA.
ISDC is an annual event held in a different city each year. This was our third ISDC event. We have made presentations on our projects at ISDC 2016 (Puerto Rico) and ISDC 2015 (Toronto). We enjoy participating in ISDC as it attended by all age-groups, including students. And we meet those who are simply interested in space as well as professionals working in space sector (including NASA engineers and astronauts). There are lots of plenaries and parallel sessions spread over four days on wide ranging space issues. This allows us to attend sessions of our interest, and learn about new space initiatives. Last year we learnt about the StarShot – Breakthrough Initiative to have a flyby mission to reach Alpha Centauri in just over 20 years from launch. This year we learnt more about the Europa Clipper mission to Europa (the icy moon of Jupiter). Parallel sessions are good avenues to meet the presenters and ask them questions.
We were invited to give 2 presentations and conduct a workshop for middle school students at the ISDC this year. One of our presentation was under the track “Many Roads to Space” and was titled : Making Sense of Data from Space: The Citizen Science Approach. We presented our experiences of using satellite data from various NASA Satellites (LandSat, Terra Modis, Terra Aqua) as well as Canadian Satellites (RadarSat-2) for our projects on tracking droughts, migration patterns, volcano eruptions, and other events. The other presentation one was on Maker Families: Building Together on Space, Science, and Technology under the NextGen track.