Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Peggy Bohlin first became interested in the subject of space, including the historical aspect of it, as a child growing up in Waukesha, Wisconsin. An interest she would bring to Roswell, the popular hub of space-related “visitors,” many years later.
“I had a telescope back then and would set it up on the balcony of my parents’ home,” Peggy reminisces. As time moved on, her interest continued to snowball and she committed herself to the scientific study of space.
Peggy’s “star” trek has been a long one, with her ventures multiplying over the years. In fact, upon coming to Roswell, she shared her passion for exploration of science and space with many in her role as educator.
“I taught 28 years for RISD,” Peggy continued, listing the wealth of schools she worked at.
“I taught regular education at Edgewood Elementary, Mountain View Middle School and Chisum Elementary for 13-and-a-half years,” Peggy said. “Then I was hired as a teacher of the gifted and proceeded to teach for 14-and-a-half years at elementary schools, including Nancy Lopez, East Grand Plains, Sunset, Monterrey, Valley View, Missouri Avenue and Washington Avenue. I taught the longest at Valley View, but there were many years where I had to teach at multiple schools.”
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Peggy’s world encompassed, and still does, a great many volunteer outlets, as well — even becoming the teacher liaison for the Space Foundation. When explaining the position, it’s quite apparent Peggy is honored to be part of the organization.
“As a teacher liaison, I’m the link between my community and the Space Foundation,” she said. “My job involves educating the public about space. However, my main goal is to inspire students to get truly excited about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) through opportunities and activities I teach and share. I continue to receive special training and resources from the Space Foundation and am able to attend the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs every year.”
To help motivate students even more, Peggy’s also the director of Camp Invention — a weeklong STEM summer camp in Roswell for elementary students.
“I bring the national program put out by the National Inventors Hall of Fame here each summer,” she said. “The camp gets students extremely interested in STEM through activities that promote creativity, team building, innovation and problem-solving.” (Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, this year’s upcoming camp has been canceled.)
The numerous steps she’s taken to study her favorite subject have led Peggy down many roads, one leading her all the way to the official “star” of space programs: NASA.
“Being a volunteer for the Solar System Ambassador Program,” Peggy explains, “allows me to share my excitement and data attained about NASA’s space exploration missions and discoveries with my Roswell community, and the state of New Mexico.
“I also get to share my enthusiasm about the International Space Station with others through different outreach opportunities,” she said. “I have access to many resources that enhance my lessons, and I have also piloted some of the curriculum that has been recently released.”
It is because of this role, combined with Peggy’s ability to access particular resources, that she has also been building quite a name with her videos found at “Peg’s Space Bytes” on YouTube.
“I have been creating YouTube videos about the history of the Space Race and have also created a few about upcoming space events, such as the most recent launch of the two astronauts on the SpaceX spacecraft to the ISS,” she said.
She added that in the near future, new videos will be presented on subjects like the James Webb Telescope at Bitter Lake NR, when things in the world, hopefully, get back to normal.
“I started creating the videos because I wanted to share my knowledge about the Space Race and other space topics with the public,” Peggy said. “Now, because of COVID-19, I decided the best way to reach out to everyone was through social media, and YouTube is the perfect venue.”
When it comes to her continued commitment to invoke younger generations’ interest in space, Peggy also became an Aerospace Connections in Education teacher, which is part of the Civil Air Patrol. Down this road, Peggy has received and then been able to teach aerospace lessons to children at different grade levels.
“I also have access to some great resources to enhance my lessons,” she said. “I have had amazing opportunities through this program, such as flying a small airplane over Houston.”
In our community, both the Roswell Astronomy Club and the Roswell Junior Galaxy Club have this space enthusiast at their helm as president.
“The mission of the Roswell Astronomy Club is to allow members to pursue their interests in astronomy and to educate the public about celestial objects through public outreach, Star Parties, Moon Gazes and at our meetings,” Peggy said. “Whereas, the mission of the Roswell Junior Galaxy Club is for students to concentrate on the STEM topics, with the main focus on space.”
It’s not a surprise that someone with such a vat of information on the subject also has thoughts in regard to the future of space.
“I definitely see the U.S. putting a man and woman on the moon through NASA’s Artemis Program by 2024, which will be the first time a female has set foot on its surface,” Peggy said.
She also believes, after that tremendous feat, “NASA, in collaboration with other nations, will build the Lunar Gateway.”
This will be a mini space station that will orbit the moon,” she said. “Once those two things have been accomplished, NASA and other space agencies around the world will focus their energies on getting humans to Mars.”
Being that the subject of space reaches so far and wide, Peggy will have much to share with Roswell citizens, as she continues contributing her new weekly column, “Space Bytes” to the Roswell Daily Record.
“In regard to my new column,” Peggy said, “I would like readers to know that space history should not be forgotten, and that the future of space exploration has just scratched the surface. There are many new opportunities that await humankind. Today’s children will be the space pioneers traveling to Mars and beyond, and, hopefully, my column will spark the imagination of its readers.”