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Aldrin Addresses STEP 10 Conference


Apollo 11 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Addresses STEP 10 Conference

Two-Day Event is Co-Sponsored by UC Riverside’s ALPHA Center

(October 16, 2009)

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin (left) speaks with UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White during the Science and Technology Education Partnership (STEP) annual conference.

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin (left) speaks with UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White during the Science and Technology Education Partnership (STEP) annual conference.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin was the keynote speaker at the luncheon at the Science and Technology Education Partnership’s (STEP) tenth annual conference (STEP 10) on Thursday, Oct. 15, at the Riverside Convention Center. The event was co-sponsored by UCR’s Academy of Learning through Partnerships for Higher Achievement (ALPHA) Center.

The conference drew 3,653 students and 185 teachers from the region. In the decade since its inception, the STEP conference has enriched the lives of more than 30,000 area students and teachers.

Aldrin, who was also recognized with the STEP Award, used a blend of seriousness and humor in reflecting in his historic role as the second man to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, fulfilling President John F. Kennedy’s commitment to put a man on the moon during that decade.

“As I descended the ladder and closed the hatch, I made sure not to lock it,” he said, drawing laughter from the audience. He described the walk on the moon as symbol of American technical achievement during the height of the Cold War, but also as “a magnificent testament to the development of the human race.”

STEP founder and honorary chairman Rep. Ken Calvert, who was unable to be present because Congress was in session, delivered a welcome address and introduced Aldrin via video presentation. During the luncheon, UC Riverside Chancellor Timothy P. White was recognized for his efforts in encouraging students with a strong interest in science and technology to pursue their goals at UCR.

ALPHA Center executive director and Pam Clute addressed the luncheon, encouraging educators to instill in their students an appreciation for science and technology in order to meet the need for a workforce knowledgeable in these fields. Clute also facilitated a workshop for teachers the previous day.

STEP recognized the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Corona Division with its inaugural Award for Government Leadership in Science and Technology Education.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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