Exactly 50 years ago today, a Saturn V rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Center carrying Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the Moon.
The Apollo program's effect of inspiring America's children to pursue careers in STEM is one of the most powerful legacies of the moon race.
On the eve of the Apollo 1
1 anniversary, LEGO asked The Harris to survey a total of 3,000 children in the United States, China, and the United Kingdom about their attitudes towards and knowledge of space. YouTube is more spaceflight.
Asked what they would like to say when they grow up, about 3 in 10 American and British children said they wanted to be youtubers or vloggers careers making videos on the internet for fame and fortune. Lesser is a teacher, professional athlete, or musician. Becoming an astronaut ranked last, at 11%.
Only in China did children have a clear preference for being an astronaut-or rather, a taikonaut-over other potential professions. Children in China were thus much more interested in going into space and had higher expectations for human settlement in space
The Harris Poll / LEGO
It is not clear why kids in the Western world are less interested in space or space professions than those in China. Perhaps it is because America has been there and done that, in terms of lunar exploration, with the Apollo program. Perhaps it is that America's kids today grew up in low-earth orbit stimulating space, aboard the International Space Station. In this case, LEGO is trying to do its part.
In any case, LEGO is trying to do its part. The Apollo program and the value of STEM education. Additionally, a team of 10 designers and LEGO "Master Builders" spent nearly 300 hours designing and building a life-size LEGO model of Aldrin in his iconic pose on the lunar surface.
Ultimately, the real answer for inspiring American youth and nurturing an interest in space may require NASA astronauts to return to deep space again for the first time in 50 years. That may or may not happen any time soon.