Blast Off Into Space Day


Shreeya Agarwal, Writer

Many people have heard of the beloved Star Wars Day that takes place every year on May 4th, a holiday that is dedicated to the worldwide success of the science fiction franchise and its fans around the world. However, many people who are fans of the iconic space themed series often overlook an equally important holiday that happens to take place the very next day.

International Space Day, which is celebrated on May 5th, seeks to bring attention the wonder of space and scientific exploration. Additionally, this day also recognizes the importance of STEM education for young aspiring scientists and astronauts .

Created in 1997 by the Lockheed Martin Association, International Space Day was made to encourage America’s youth to get involved in science and math related fields. Although originally called “Space Day”, the name was changed to “International Space Day” by senator and former astronaut John Glenn in 2001.

In an age where space exploration has increasingly dominated headlines and where the most advanced technological innovations have made far reaching space exploration possible, the importance of space science is more pressing than ever. Movies such as “Gravity”, “The Martian”, and “Interstellar” have brought renewed interest in the concept of space travel in just the last five years.

When asking Oakdale students about the importance of International Space Day, Oakdale Senior Tanay Jaggi stated, “I believe the holiday is important because that (STEM fields) is the future of where space science is going. We need more people to get into that field so there is more of a workforce of stem fields in the future”.

Junior Suzie Beza also stated her opinion claiming, “It’s [Space Day] because it serves as a reminder to our country about our achievements and recent discoveries”.

International Space Day seeks to bring awareness to students in particular, and to encourage them to join the STEM fields. However, Oakdale students were asked about whether school places emphasis upon the holiday and its significance enough, and they immediately replied no.

Jaggi went on to explain how Oakdale could benefit from implementing “an astronomy class or even a club at least”.

Beza added that she would like to see “field trips to NASA centers and more electives related to space science”.

Organizations and space agencies around the world celebrate International Space Day in an effort to bring attention the wonders of the universe and the people who make it possible to discover them. It is important that not only Oakdale students take part in the celebration, but also many other students around the world who wish to contribute to the STEM fields. It can be collectively agreed space exploration is our future and thus it is necessary that we as a society invest in it.