U.S. Embassy Hosts Retired NASA Astronaut in a Presentation on the Importance of STEM

The U.S. Embassy to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS was pleased to host retired NASA astronaut Robert Curbeam in Barbados where he delivered a free public lecture on the importance of STEM.

Astronaut Curbeam’s lecture took place on October 16 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Center. The U.S. Embassy hosted this presentation to underscore the importance of a STEM education, and to promote the United States as the leader in STEM education, and space exploration. Distinguished guests included Don Chee-a-Tow, the Honorary French Consul, and wife Catherine, who is the Honorary Consul for Portugal.

Astronaut Curbeam holds an advanced degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, and a Master of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Post Graduate School, as well as a bachelor’s degree with merit in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy.  He is a retired National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut and the current record holder for the most spacewalks in a single mission.

During his brief visit to Barbados, Astronaut Curbeam paid a courtesy call to the Harry Bayley Observatory where he participated in the launch of the U.S. Embassy’s Junior Astronomy Clubs.  The clubs will be launched in secondary schools in Barbados, and the Eastern Caribbean. The Barbados Astronomical Society, in conjunction with the Caribbean Examinations Council will create the curriculum which will be administered by the Caribbean Science Foundation.

In his opening remarks at the public lecture, U.S. Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Larry Palmer said, “We are pleased that Mr. Curbeam traveled to Barbados to underscore the importance of STEM education, and convey how much these fields contributed to space exploration. Having served on three space shuttle missions and undertaken a record-tying seven spacewalks, he is uniquely qualified to speak about STEM education as a driver of space exploration.”