The inaugural edition of POLI SpaceFEST was held from the 11th until the 13th of June at the National University of Science and Technology Politehnica Bucharest, featuring unique and innovative sessions, workshops, and conferences during the 3 days of the science festival.
Having its aim set on developing and promoting the airspace domain, SpaceFEST saw an impressive audience of more than 20000 participants, students coming from EELISA communities, pupils, or people coming from sheer curiosity to take part in the workshops or to meet and talk with the 3 special guests of the event: Nicole Stott (NASA astronaut), Dumitru Prunariu (Romanian astronaut) and Sara Sabry (Egyptian astronaut).
Cătălin Burtea was one of the students that had the chance to take part in this gathering, along with other fellow members of the EELISA UPB Community to talk to the students and present the opportunities of the alliance. Learn about his experience in the following #EELISANarrators article:
As student of the National University of Science and Technology Politehnica Bucharest, and moreover, as part of the EELISA UPB Community and the Student Council, it was the perfect opportunity to link the students at our University with EELISA once again. Being the first edition, the event meant a challenging task for every each of us. As it was the last major event of this academic year here in UPB, we tried to maintain a high standard again as we have done for the last months.
The event started on Sunday with an opening gala where guests from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Research, alumni of the airspace domain, and student representatives were present and held a speech.
The highlights of the gala were the speeches of the three astronauts and the open session after which they held Q&A sessions with the public. The festival continued with hands-on workshops dedicated to participants of all ages. More than 10000 people attended them the first day and proved to be an immense task for the volunteers as the number of participants was much higher than our estimations.
On Monday, the event continued the same way, with all the workshops and the conferences just like the previous day, only that now the astronauts had their very own booths where they held mini Q&A sessions with the participants, signed autographs, took photos or explained what it takes to become an astronaut. More than 5000 people visited our event this day.
On the third and final day, the astronauts left, but the workshops enjoyed the same amount of popularity as the previous day. More than 5000 people created mini-rockets, crafted rocket parts, attended rocket launches, inspected military helicopters’ facilities, or flew in a hot air balloon.
Along with the activities related to spacecraft engineering, EELISA was present during the event with a booth right next to the astronauts’ stands. That is reflected in the number of students that visited our booth: more than 500 students interacted with me and my colleagues during the three days of the festival.
As always, it has been a very enjoyable experience getting in touch with the students from my university and presenting them all the actions and opportunities of the alliance. And with that, the major events in UPB end for this academic year, but we are not taking a break as we prepare for the next ones. And of course, I am looking forward to meeting you all at the 1st EELISA International Conference in October. All the best!
Cătălin Burtea- Masters in Management and Business Systems Engineering,
Computer Science and Automatic Control, UPB, Bucharest
In the second year of the master’s degree in Universitatea POLITEHNICA București, Cătălin is a member of the Student Council and an EELISA representative in UPB.
Cătălin is an all-rounder, being passionate about innovation and self-development, as well as being passionate about sports, travelling and volunteering that he has being practsing sice he can remember.