Empowering all Women, in Space and on Earth

Olympia Kyriopoulos, WIA-E Darmstadt

Have you ever asked yourself ā€œHow can I have a global impact and help the human population understand that we shall take care of our planet?ā€œ or ā€œHow can I foster STEAM education and encourage children to pursue their dreams and never give up?ā€

Big dream/vision, I knowā€¦ but I once read that the “word ā€˜impossibleā€™ is not in the leadersā€™ dictionaryā€, and no matter how big the challenges are, anybody can overcome them with passion and determination. From the moment I looked up at the brilliant stars, at the age of 8, I asked myself how can I reach that beauty, how can I send my message to the stars. Encouraged by my parents, I followed my passion for science, technology, and space and did my PhD in Engineering, in the field of microgravity research. In the last 10+ years, I led complex international aerospace projects with my life being always accompanied by music and sports. Little by little, my childhood vision grew until it materialized in OLYMPIASPACE Foundation: making the impossible possible.

Today, I travel around the world, join schools, inspire children of all backgrounds about space exploration, and trigger their curiosity by questioning the unknown. I make them think of the importance of learning from failures as well as believing in their dreams. I ask them to fill my five little miniature rockets with their dreams, messages, wishes or drawings, and then be ready for their launch into spaceā€¦indeed, on board of a real rocket!

After their letters have touched the stars, I make sure to return all drawings and messages to the children in person. They have a lifelong memory but moreover, a memento that teaches them that Earth is one, indivisible, precious and peaceful place, with no borders visible from above!

ā€œLook Up & Dream Bigā€

Would you like to know more? Olympia will be hosting a virtual meetup on Friday, 27 November, 18:00 CET, where she will present her work in more detail.

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