As you *might* have seen on our Twitter feed, Science Grrl is super excited to be heading back to bluedot in 2019 to celebrate fifty years since the moon landings! We’ve teamed up with Women of Science again this year to bring you the very best stories, games, crafts and, of course, the infamous treasure hunt where you’ll be able to explore so many women of science all around the festival site! You’ll be able to find us under the mesmerising Lovell Telescope in the Star Field, celebrating and inspiring wonderful women in STEM from Friday through to Sunday.
With a strong “moon landings theme” for bluedot this year, we’ve made sure to plan many spacey activities for all ages in our very own science chill-out tent. From playing Terraforming Mars and Astronaut games, to space-themed toys and crafts and bedtime stories for the little ones.
We will even have some exclusive women in space temporary tattoos, featuring some of our favourite idols: Helen Sharman, Mae Jemison and Valentina Tereshkova. These are bound to go down an absolute treat so make sure to stop by the stand early in the weekend to grab yourself one!
So, who are the women of space stars on our temporary tattoos?
A Russian engineer and astronaut, Valentina Tereschkova, was the first and youngest woman to have flown in space on a solo mission, aged just 26. Travelling on board the Vostok 6 as part of the Soviet Space Program in 1963, she spent nearly three days in space, orbiting the Earth 48 times. The photos Tereshkova took during her mission were used to identify layers of the atmosphere, and her spaceflight laid the foundations for studying the medical effects of space travel on women.
Mae Jemison trained to be a dancer up until the age of 18, at which point, she debated whether to pursue a career in dance, or to instead train as a medical doctor. Her mind was made up after some advice from her mother, stating that it was easier to become a dancer if you’re already a scientist, than trying to become a scientist when you’ve trained in dance. After working as a doctor for the United States Government, Mae took up engineering training, during which she applied for NASA’s astronaut program. After a successful selection process, she travelled aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, making her the first black woman to travel in space. She has since founded her own technology research company and a non-profit educational foundation.
A chemist by training, Helen Sharman became the first British astronaut in 1991 after hearing a radio advertisement calling for applications to be the first Brit in space. Travelling on the Soyuz TM-12 mission to the Mir space station, Dr Sharman made agricultural and medical observations, including monitoring growth of protein crystals and seeds. Following her mission, Helen became a keen science communicator, writing books and presenting TV and radio programmes, and went back to her chemistry roots working for the National Physical Laboratory and Imperial College London.
Find out more about these women of space and more by visiting us in the North Star Field at bluedot 2019 from July 19-21.
Guest post by Tori Blakeman – Impact and Engagement Officer at the Science and Technology Facilities Council, and volunteer for Science Grrl. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @toriexplores.