On Monday, October 19, President Obama hosted the 2nd White House Astronomy Night in conjunction with the Office of Science Technology and Policy. Highlights of the evening included a stargazing party on the White House lawns, speeches by distinguished luminaries in the field of astronomy and space science, and the opportunity for guests to network and interact with each other in a celebration of astronomy and STEM education.
Present at the White House was none other than YUAA member Lauren Chambers (Timothy Dwight ’17), representing the Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association at the prestigious event. It was a great honour for both Lauren and YUAA, and symbolic of how far Yale Aerospace has come over the last 5 years.
“It’s exciting that the White House is having the event to begin with, but to be involved with it is really great,” said Lauren. She is one of the co-leaders of YUAA’s Optical Telescope project, along with Scott Smith (Branford ’18), who had the following words to add about the scope of their project – “We want to use it as a tool to get people who wouldn’t normally think about astronomy excited about astronomy.”
The cherry on the cake was when the White House Office of the Press Secretary officially recognised the efforts and achievements of the Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association on their website. Both the Optical Telescope project and YUAA’s CubeSat project, led by Betsy Li (Saybrook ’18), were recognised as important student contributions to the field of astronomy and space exploration. You can read further about the press release at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/10/19/fact-sheet-white-house-astronomy-night-president-obama-announces-new
This was truly a momentous occasion for Yale’s premier student-run aerospace organisation, one that we hope will continue to inspire members of the Yale community to explore the possibilities associated with space exploration. To read the Yale School of Engineering’s blog post about YUAA’s role in the White House Astronomy Night, please visit: http://seas.yale.edu/news-events/news/yale-undergraduate-aerospace-association-receives-white-house-salute-0