On January 3, 2022, 19 girls in 6th and 7th grades at public primary school no. 2 in Kąty Wrocławskie in Poland joined for an IGNITE event to meet Ms. Kinga Gruszecka of the Polish Space Agency.
Ms. Gruszecka began her presentation with a question—how do you imagine an astronaut? Most of the girls said they imagined a man, and Ms. Gruszecka admitted that she thought the same way when she started her career at POLSA.
Ms. Gruszecka focused on humanities in school, which was why she originally studied marketing and IT. During her studies she travelled a lot, which opened her horizons. Despite the fact that she didn’t think of herself as a math-oriented person at the beginning and she had never thought of being a part of the space industry, she was always curious and saying “yes” to all new challenges—that’s why she now works as an Expert at POLSA.
She shared that the history of space includes many women who dreamed about cosmos exploration, like Hypatia who lived in 255 B.C, Maria Kunic (1610-1664) from Poland, Elżbieta Koopman Heweliusz (1647-1693), also from Poland, Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) from Great Britain, and Henrietta Swan Leavitt (1868-1921) from the USA. Moreover a team consisting of 30% women from the United Arab Emirates launched a satellite called the Hope to explore Mars successfully in 2020.
The expert said that the space sector is very wide and encompasses robots, satellite communication, navigation, Earth observation, space exploration, production and data collection and analysis. Different skills are necessary—while communication is the most important, cooperation, project management, curiosity and patience are also key because you have to wait for financial support and political priorities, as well as the stars and planets to align.
Ms. Gruszecka shared that now we shouldn’t say that “the sky is the limit” because we are far beyond the sky in exploring the cosmos.
Many thanks to Ms. Kinga Gruszecka for giving such an inspiring presentation that has impacted girls’ interest. Thank you also to Ms. Monika Małecka for her support during the workshop. Thanks as always to to IGNITE Worldwide CEO and Founder Cathi Rodgveller for her inspiration.
After attending this event:
of students want to continue attending IGNITE events
Here’s what the students thought of the event:
“It was very well conducted. I’m grateful that I had opportunity to get more info about this subject.” – 7th grade
“I’m grateful for all the inspiration.” – 6th grade