Monday 9th January 2023 – By Tia Lush

The second stop on day two of our SWTxNASA Tour was hosted at the beautiful Rotorua Library. It was the first time that we had worked with the amazing team there and everything was in hand and ready when Tia arrived to set up. After a check of the seating area and technical check we set up the signage and videos on the giant screen and waited for people to arrive. It was great to see so many families and adults with a passion and interest for space come along to our event. As we started scanning people in, it soon became apparent that the sold out event was going to be extremely popular as people kept arriving and other library users also wanted to stay and take part.

Working with the great team at the library we managed to keep numbers safe. Due to the nature of the building we were able to let people view the presentation from the mezzanine floor as well as the back of the ground floor, so everyone who wanted to listen was welcome to.

Rachael and our VIP arrived, having grabbed a quick bite at a local cafe, and was formally introduced to the excited audience. The captivated Rotorua audience got to hear about Kate’s inspirational journey and then got a chance to ask some questions. Even people on the mezzanine floor got to ask a question!

After Q&As the presentation was over and it was time for a meet and greet with a photo opportunity with the star herself. Everyone waited patiently for their turn and we managed to get through everyone. Some young space fans had made gifts for NASA Kate which she was delighted to receive.

A huge thanks to the Rotorua library team who got everything set up and ready for us and made our life easy. We’d also like to thank everyone who came and brought their curiosity and questions and left with big smiles and a new love for space and STEM. We can’t wait to see you all at the next STEM Wana event.

Photography: Tia Lush (Please credit STEM Wana Trust/STEMFest)