Careers in Space…
Well, the goal of being an astronaut is kinda like wanting to be a professional basketball player… The number of people who make it that far is very very small. I had read, on one of my 2E lists, where one parent told another that if her son really wanted to work for NASA, not to ever give him meds for ADHD, because that would disqualify him from entry into the program. I’ve heard the same thing about military service. If I hadn’t read that, I probably would have thought Wow, Tyler… that’s a great goal. Good for you. And left it at that. So when I started looking at the requirements to see what it said about ADHD and if what I’d heard was fact or rumor, I saw the flight hours required to be considered for the space program. It’s a lot and would be very difficult to accomplish as a civilian… the easiest way to get the hours is to be either a commercial or military pilot. Now, Tyler has been interested in space for a while, and his 2nd grade teacher made a comment last year to tell me to make sure he takes AP math classes and that she thinks he should work in the space program, perhaps as an engineer. So I’d already looked into the fact that the high school that is our ‘home’ school has an aviation and aerospace magnate. I contacted them yesterday and asked them to send me a brochure.
So, if you don’t already think I’ve gone over the top, you will now that I tell you that I’ve not only emailed the high school, I’ve also emailed NASA, and the US Coast Guard. I’ve discovered that Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has a campus in Prescott AZ, and that UofA is one of the consortium schools NASA gives grants to. Scouting is strongly recommended, but I just don’t think I can do boy scouts so I’ve discovered that the Civil Air Patrol (which is thru the air force) has a cadet program that focuses on and volunteer work and aerospace education opportunities, and Tyler can join that at 12. I’ve probably printed a ream of paper for him to start reading… not all at once of course, but bit by bit, so that he can have an idea of the work involved if he really wants to do this.
The way I figure it, there is NOTHING that he would do to try and get into the space program that would be a waste of his time or that wouldn’t be of use to him whatever his career choice. My plan is to encourage him to do all the things he would need to do, because frankly, you really have to start preparing for a career in space in grade school, starting the with basics of science and math. If worse comes to worse, he just finds a job working for NASA but isn’t in the space program, that’s still fantastic and that will still make him very happy. In the meantime, I can hold onto the hope that he’ll be busy enough preparing for this career that he’ll stay out of a lot of the trouble that appeals to boys… especially ADHD boys.