May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada. Find out what makes this month special, how Asian Canadians have contributed to space science, and how to celebrate Asian Heritage Month 2023.
Asian heritage month in Canada is a time to celebrate the diverse cultures and contributions of Asian Canadians to society. It’s a chance to learn about the history and achievements of Canadians of Asian origin, as well as highlight all they have done and continue to do to make Canada a country we’re proud to call home!
Asian heritage month has been celebrated in May since the 1990s but was officially declared as such in 2002. The theme for Asian Heritage Month 2023 is “Stories of Determination”.
Astronauts are the most visible role models for young Canadians when it comes to space exploration. There could certainly be better diversity when it comes to Canadian astronauts, who do not currently represent the diversity that Canada prides itself for. The Canadian Space Agency has committed to improving employment equity, diversity and inclusion through the implementation of an action plan.
In the meantime, it’s important to remember that there are many diverse scientists, including Asian Canadians, working behind the scenes to advance space science. As a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) field, space science requires inputs from a huge number of disciplines, including engineering, medicine, physics, and more.
Canadian researchers and engineers develop satellites, sounding rockets, and other space technologies. They help discover and document astronomical phenomena and design experiments to be done in space that teach us more about our physiology and the environment.
One such scientist is Vietnamese Canadian Linda Dao works on tackling healthcare challenges faced by astronauts in space. As a project officer in operational space medicine at the Canadian Space Agency, she contributes to preparing Canada to learn more about healthcare in deep space exploration.
Another example is Dr. Ali Nasseri, a talented Iranian Canadian aerospace engineer and physicist who provides engineering support for various space missions at the Canadian Space Agency.
Award-winning Sri Lankan Canadian astronomy professor and science writer Ray Jayawardhana led a student team at Harvard that helped establish the early evolution of stars. He has organized innovative outreach programs that promote space science in Toronto, and he even has an asteroid named after him (4668 Rayjay) – not many people can say that!
Everyone in Canada should have the opportunity to reach their full potential. One way to foster more diversity in space is to encourage young people to pursue careers in STEM. And what better way to introduce the fascinating world of space science to budding young scientists than a trip to the HR MacMillan Space Centre?
Our talented staff, interactive displays, and innovative programs offer fun and educational ways to learn more about space science and exploration for both kids and adults. Visit us to browse the Cosmic Courtyard gallery, enjoy a live science demonstration, and catch a show in the Planetarium Star Theatre. And keep an eye on our upcoming events.