Richard Stember is a NASA Solar System Ambassador volunteer who shares his passion for space with the public. Is this something that would interest you? You can apply to be an ambassador, too!


Title: NASA's Solar System Ambassador program brings NASA missions and science to the public.

Richard Stember: My name is Richard Stember. I am a Solar System Ambassador.. NASA currently has 730 Ambassadors across all 50 states, and in US territories, consulates and military bases overseas.

We have set up our mobile observatory at a school in Mission Viejo. And we have set up our solar telescopes for the kids to learn about the sun.

Kid: Ah, cool!

Stember: Yeah!

Kid: Wow! It's so cool!

Stember: Isn't that cool? There is no experience greater than a student walking up to the telescope and seeing the moon, or Jupiter, or Saturn for the first time through a telescope.

Kid: It's actually seeing the sun really for the first time. I felt like it was a great experience.

Channon Craycraft: It's a huge opportunity for our school and for the students to experience something like this on a scale where they get to actually see and interact with what's going on up in space. And it's really exciting for them.

Stember: Those are areas of the sun that are cooler than the rest of the sun.

Title: NASA provides volunteer ambassadors with year-around training opportunities and ambassadors commit to holding 4 public events a year.

Stember: So much of science is funded by the federal government. NASA is a big part of that. So it's really important to us Solar System Ambassadors that the public at large understand what science is being done because they're funding it.

Title: Richard's mobile observatory was provided by Science Heads, a non-profit committed to science literacy.

Craycraft: I would not be surprised. We could have a future astronomer in our midst. [ laughs ]

Stember: I think we can inspire students to study a little bit harder to take that science class that maybe they wouldn't have taken otherwise. But also adults--to learn more about what is being done by NASA and other research organizations.

Kid 1: I would do it again.

Kid 2: I would do it again.

Stember: If it was just one student who became a scientist I would be so honored to think that I played a very small role.

Title: For more information on the Solar System Ambassador program:

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