Former NASA astronaut to address importance of STEM education - East Valley Tribune: Tempe

Former NASA astronaut to address importance of STEM education

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Posted: Saturday, February 2, 2013 2:28 pm

Leroy Chiao, former NASA astronaut, has been chosen as the 2013 John J. Rhodes Chair in Public Policy and American Institutions in Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University and will deliver the 2013 Rhodes Lecture titled “Warp Speed: How Technology is Accelerating and the Importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education.”

Chiao is no stranger to the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and the advancement of technology. Chiao earned three degrees in chemical engineering and a Q-clearance for nuclear weapons related work at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory before embarking on his 15-year career as a NASA astronaut. He is a veteran of four space missions, most recently serving as commander and NASA science officer of Expedition 10 aboard the International Space Station.

Chiao has logged more than 229 days in space - over 36 hours of which were spent in Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) or spacewalks. From June to September 2009, he served as a member of the White House appointed Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee, and currently serves on the NASA Advisory Council. He also is involved in entrepreneurial business ventures and works in the U.S., China, Japan and Russia. With this vast technical education and experience, he offers an exciting glimpse into life on the next quantum level and presents a world in which technology is accelerating much more quickly than ever before.

In his presentation, Chiao addresses the technology that will foster amazing feats, what is coming around the bend, what life will be like during the next technological phase, and how it will be the STEM-educated people of today who will give us the world of tomorrow.

Chiao will speak 7 p.m. Feb. 20 at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway.

Admission is free and open to the public, however ticket service fees apply. Seating is general admission and reservations are required. Information and ticket reservations, are at

  • Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University

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