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Ellie’s StudentCorner™ STEM Story: How My STEM Courses Are Rocketing Me To My Dreams To Be A NASA Space Doctor For Astronauts! – Here’s Ellie’s Story

by | Apr 12, 2020 | RE@L StudentCorner | 0 comments

Ellie 2017RE@L-logo_Corp_TM_New-Tag_8-15-17_CMYK-300x127Hi everyone! It’s Ellie, back again reporting from my RE@L StudentCorner™!

I am excited to be returning to my Corner to talk more about STEM in my life, and how it’s leading to my STEM “dream” job!

Here’s my own STEM story:

RE@L-STEM-icon_RGB“Growing up, I had been to a few STEM camps. I live near to a university, so they always have plenty of cool summer camps. I have also tagged along with my mom at her STEM-TECH conferences because they offered engineering camps for kids. As much as I learned there at the moment, it is almost impossible to retain all those memories now, five years later.

Unknown-2What I do remember from these camps are all the interesting experiences. I remember designing and building a foam roller coaster,   (Click this link for more information) racing our own aerodynamic airplanes, and shooting air compressed ping pong balls through the wall. These activities were more important to me as I gained interest in the STEM program. They made me interested in how things worked, and motivated me to find opportunities when I could do it again!

Ellie Times TableFlashing forward to 8th grade, I remember realizing that English and Social Studies were not my favorite subjects…important, yes….but favorite, not! Ever since then, I have been favoring more and more activities with Science and Math. At my high school, we are lucky to have dozens of courses to choose from. When looking at our STEM courses offered, our choices range from “Exploring Woods and Plastics” to “Earth and Space Science.” Lucky me!

STEM WQI Graphic2I have taken some of those courses, but my favorite has been “Stream Ecology”. In this class, we walked down to our community river, better known as the Kinnikinnic, and take samples of the water to test it’s quality, look at macroinvertebrates, and so much more! I would look forward to this class every day because I was truly interested in it. By the way, in my role in RE@L’s StudentCorner, I wrote this RE@LBlog report about our study of the river. (Click on the graphic to the right to read it).

images-1A few weeks after my class ended I decided to look into NASA’s job openings, just to see what kind of jobs people had in that field. After about an hour of searching, I found a flight surgeon opening. Now, of course, I couldn’t apply as I am a sophomore in High School, but this job gave me hope and a plan. (Click on the graphic to the left for more information).

I knew what I wanted to do, and I knew there was something about science that had me interested.

So, for the next few hours, I was digging and searching for more information about this really cool job.

Unknown-3I learned that a flight surgeon’s job for NASA is to be assigned an astronaut and be their personal doctor before, during, and after their mission. You pack up their medicine, have personal calls in space with them to check-up, and you’re often the first person they see when they land back on Earth so their health can be assessed. (Click on the graphic to the right to read more about this NASA doctor).

Why not ME?

NASA1Every day I am working towards learning more about how I can make this dream a reality. If it weren’t for those camps or the high school courses I wouldn’t have any idea about this.

STEM programs made me realize what I want to do for the rest of my life, and for that, I am so grateful.

Thank YOU, Ellie for your own STEM Story!

Happy Lunar, Mars & SpaceStation Landings!


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Randy Nelson & Dale LaFrenz


/// Dr. Dale LaFrenz is Chairman of RE@L, Inc and one of the founders of MECC, Inc - the Minnesota company that brought “Oregon Trail” and more than a hundred products to millions of K12 students across the world. HIs RE@L Inc continues to serve K12 as a LearningProduct "launching pad" for schools, online learning and the rapidly growing STEM market. /// Randy Nelson recently joined RE@L as a BlogMeister and Director of Education for RE@L's new STEM-based LearningProducts. Randy has long been an advocate for more positive, effective changes in K-12 teaching and learning, from his teaching days to his former career as a Superintendent who positively reformed the school district of LaCrosse Wisconsin.w