Organized and run by university students PSD is an all day educational outreach program set on the campus of Purdue University. It is designed to give approx 450 3-8 grade school students from all backgrounds the opportunity to learn about astronautical engineering and space exploration through listening to a presentation by a Purdue alumnus astronaut and by participating in three unique age appropriate hands-on experiences with the intention of sparking their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) using a space theme. This model can be adapted to any discipline.
The event is staffed by university student volunteers representing many majors with the majority coming from the College of Engineering. At Purdue, from 1996 through 2008, over 3,000 grade school students and over 1,000 university student volunteers have participated in the program.
Now that the program is in its second decade of operations, students who participated in PSD as school students are now attending Purdue and participating as university student volunteers. Additionally, high school students who also took part in grade school also volunteer to work alongside the university students to help run the day. All students are tracked longitudinally
The history of the event is documented in the Purdue Space Day web site. https://engineering.purdue.edu/FallSpaceDay