Prioritizing the Value of Space Technology
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The highest enlisted leader of the United States Space Force said on Nov. 11 that early education about the value provided by space technology should be a national priority.
That’s why, according to Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman, having the secretary of education on the National Space Council might be a good idea. During a live webcast discussion with Jamie Morin, executive director of the Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy, he clarified this.
Towberman believes that because the most gifted people discover their love early in life, more should be done to entice high achievers to the subject of space.
He speculated, “Maybe this is Space Council business.” “How do we have an exhaustive discussion about should be ‘ the brand of space’ and what are we performing in elementary schools to boost the passion?”
Towberman has become something of a brand ambassador for the United States Space Force, which has prioritized talent recruitment due to the highly technical nature of the work its personnel performs.
The issue is that much of the message regarding space employment concentrates on the scientific and technical requirements, rather than stressing the benefits and technological potentials, he explained. “The STEM message isn’t getting across to all of the talented people.”
Satellites in orbit provide critical applications that assist life on Earth, including agriculture, navigation, environmental monitoring, and mass communications. But, according to Towberman, the importance of space as a value producer is undervalued.
“What are we doing in elementary schools to foster that enthusiasm so that a five-year-old can look up at the stars and say, ‘That’s what I want to do,'” he asked.
Comparison with Medical Field
Medicine, which is also a STEM field, can be used as a comparison. “However, medicine is not viewed as a STEM discipline; the brand of medicine is one of care and service. And because of that, talented young people are attracted to a career in medicine but might not be attracted to a career working for a ‘STEM’ company,” Towberman said.
One strategy to attract young people is to tell them that being in space allows them to “help the world.” Science and technology aren’t the only factors. It’s about the things that science and technology make possible… As a result, I believe this is a vital discussion.”