SAN DIEGO -- NASA Astronaut Jessica Meir took time out of her schedule aboard the International Space Station Monday to speak with local students gathered at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Meir, who received her Ph.D. in Marine Biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, answered student's questions via live stream.
Nearly 150 students from Fulton Middle School and Memorial Preparatory for Scholars and Athletes gathered at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego -- where Meir received her Doctorate in marine biology -- to call and speak to the astronaut. Both schools are supported by the Birch Aquarium at Scripps' Price Philanthropies Ocean Science Education Fund.
"It really means so much for me to be able to share my life up here with all of you," said Meir.
Meir described how her love of science allowed her to reach the stars. She flew to the International Space Station on Sept. 25, 2019, and made history as part of the first all-female space walk with fellow NASA Astronaut Christina Koch. She talked to the students about becoming an astronaut and the challenges she faced in her journey.
"One of the questions someone asked her was, 'What was the hardest thing about becoming an astronaut,?'" said 8th grade student Alexander March. "She said having to get the job, because she wasn't accepted the first few times, but then she finally was after a while, so that's just her way of saying don't give up until you get what you want."
That message struck a note for March who has big dreams for his own life.
"My dream career is to become an inventor-engineer and open up my own company," March said.
It turns out March is already doing what Meir encouraged all the students to do.
"I think the most important thing to do is to make sure that you identify your passion and do what it is that you really care about. Once you've done that, you do have to work very hard to make those dreams come true," said Meir.
NASA astronaut Jessica Meir called students at two local schools from the International Space Station Monday to answer questions about her background, space and science.