If you’re an Elmira native, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the name Eileen Collins. Eileen was born and bred right here in Elmira, NY, and when the space shuttle Columbia blasted off on July 23, 1999, she became NASA’a first female shuttle commander. She has truly been a pioneer for the space program. It was always her dream to become a pilot, however, her beginnings were humble.
Eileen went to Corning Community College, where she earned an associates degree in science. She then went on to Syracuse University where she earned a Bachelor’s in Math and Economics in 1978. Once she was finished with college, she enrolled in the pilot training course at the Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma. Her class was one of the first ones at the base to have women as students. Once she completed the pilot training course, she stayed at Vance and became an instructor for the next three years.
Eileen continued her education eventually, earning a Master’s Degree in operations research from Stanford, and another Master’s Degree in Space Systems Management from Webster’s University in St. Louis.
By the time Eileen was chosen by NASA she had logged more than 419 hours in space in various types of missions. Her achievements are honorable, and they’re something every Twin Tiers native should be proud of.
Your kids have the opportunity to get involved in learning about the space program right here at home, while they’re still young. You can help them in one of two ways:
1. Sweet-n-Saucy is proud to be a part of the Mission to Mars program at the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center, right here in Big Flats, NY. Our Family Fun Day kicks off at 10am on October 11, 2014, and it includes plenty of activities for your kids. They’ll love every minute of the Scavenger Hunt, meeting real, live Martians, and lots more. When they get hungry, you can break for lunch in our Wings of Eagles Cafe, and then it’s right back to the action. It’s only $10 for the whole family.
2. Later on the same day, at 6pm, we’ll be hosting our Mission to Mars Gala, featuring beer and wine tasting from local vendors, a delicious meal prepared by Sweet-n-Saucy, music from Joe Cavallaro and a presentation by Mars Research Scientist, Shoshanna Cole from Cornell University.
The proceeds from this event will help fund STEM education programs for our region’s youth. By attending, you’re helping to continue our exploration in space, which starts by sparking the interest of our kids.
We hope you’ll join us for this important and exciting event!