Students gathered on the Arts quad on Thursday night to learn and play in space-based activities.

Boris Tsang / Sun Photography Editor

Students gathered on the Arts quad on Thursday night to learn and play in space-based activities.

April 25, 2019

‘Our Place in Space’ Attempts To Raise Awareness About Environment, Outer Space

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Cornell students brought the universe to Cornell as they participated in astronomy-themed activities on Wednesday, April 25 as part of the People’s Climate Week on the Arts Quad.

The goal of the People’s Climate Week is to engage the Cornell community by highlighting connections between planetary health matters and the fight against climate change, according to the event page.

This year marks the second time Our Place in Space has been held. Clubs that participated included Cornell Astronomical Society, Cornell Micro-g, the Cornell Mars Rover team and Cornell University Sustainable Design, according to the event page.

There were a wide range of activities, demonstrations, and presentations on display from the various student groups and organizations present.

“The goal of Our Place in Space is to demonstrate the valuable connection between space exploration and research to climate change as well as how this has shaped our perspective and understanding of the Earth, and to showcase the work of the space-related clubs and student organizations at Cornell,” Emma Vedock-Gross ’20, event organizer, told The Sun.

One of the demonstrations was by the Cornell Mars Rover project team, who showed off their rover at the event.

The rover is designed to perform a number of tasks such as picking up objects, collecting soil samples and more, and performs them at competitions in “Mars-like environments,” according to Benjamin Hallock-Solomon ’22.

The team performs tests in the Utah desert in order to simulate what it would be like to perform them on the Martian surface.

Students from various clubs gave demonstrations of machines and tools to passersby. Students from various clubs gave demonstrations of machines and tools to passersby.

The team behind Our Place in Space hopes to continue to raise awareness and engage the Cornell community in climate justice issues and bring together as many people from the Cornell community as possible in support.

“We hope that, in finding joy and wonder in the outdoors and the cosmos, people will feel impassioned to not only get outdoors more but also protect and preserve the environment, to make personal choices to slow or reverse climate change — and protect the people who are worst affected by it.” said Fraz Lugay ’19, who helped coordinate the event as a Cornell Outdoor Education Wizard.