Western to help launch Junior Astronauts

As part of the NASA-led Lunar Gateway program, Canada is going to the moon. And thanks to a new $400,000 grant from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Western is going to shape how Canada’s youth get engaged in the interstellar opportunities this mission provides.

Western has been selected by CSA to provide academic guidance over the next 12 months for its Junior Astronauts campaign, which promotes the importance of space and science to students across Canada.

“Junior Astronauts is important as it will provide access and opportunities for children and youth across Canadian provinces and territories to engage with Earth and space-focused curriculum and accompanying activities,” explained Education professor Isha DeCoito, who serves as Principal Investigator on the project.

CSA’s choice for awarding the grant to Western not only leverages the university’s expertise in Earth and space exploration, but also taps into Space Matters, an initiative launched in 2018 with a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) PromoScience grant.

Distributing educational materials to teachers and youth across the country, Space Matters partners with several organizations, including the Canadian Association of Science Centres, Ingenium, Partners in Research, and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.