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Astronaut Duane "Digger" Carey has extensive experience presenting to schools and universities of all types (see the Testimonials and Client List).

"One of my true passions is to inspire children and young adults to reach beyond their perceived limits so they can successfully and confidently achieve difficult and significant goals. I believe in this so deeply that, regardless of how busy I was with my career over the years, I took the time each and every evening to home-school my own two children in math and science."

Digger’s main message when he speaks to schools and universities is powerful and direct – that special adventures are in store for each and every one of us IF we are willing to make a commitment to excellence and IF we are willing to challenge, really challenge, ourselves.

Digger modifies his approach to suit various age groups; however, he employs a few personal and strongly-held tenets when addressing students of ALL ages:

    Tenets Applicable to Students of All Ages:

  • Spaceflight and the aerospace field in general still arouse strong interest in the jaded and over-stimulated young people of today. As someone who has actually been in Space, Digger gets issued a "free pass" by his young audiences to an extended period of rapt attention from them.

  • Literacy in math and science will open doors to wonderful opportunities and adventures – regardless of the students’ individual interests and future plans.

  • The surest (and perhaps only) way to attain a robust sense of self-esteem is through achievement – the achievement of difficult AND significant goals.

  • The most successful educational methods provide both a "push" and a "pull" on students. One role of parents and teachers is to "push" the students. Digger provides a hefty "pull!"

  • Fun is a great learning tool! Digger and his school audiences always have loads of fun! (For example, kids invariably scream with laughter when Digger describes how to use a Space Toilet!)

  • Although Digger’s various school presentations are tailored to the ages of his audiences, he’s adept at speaking to school groups as diverse as K - 12 (as is sometimes the case at small rural schools). Please note that there is considerable overlap in what he presents to various age groups. For example, he addresses the importance of teamwork to university students and introduces goal-setting to elementary school students (see below).

    Topics Shared with Students of All Ages Include:

  • The thrill, grandeur, and fun of Spaceflight (including a 17-minute video of Digger’s Space Shuttle Mission ( STS-109) to the Hubble Space Telescope). (Additional video presentations are available upon request). Digger’s own personal (and highly unconventional) path to America’s Astronaut Corps (see About "Digger" and Frequently Asked Questions).

  • Digger’s own personal (and highly unconventional) path to America’s Astronaut Corps (see About "Digger" and Frequently Asked Questions).

  • Topics Shared at the Elementary School Level Include:

  • The fun of great adventures.

  • The importance of math and science classes.

  • The importance of teamwork

  • The importance of training and (lots and lots of) practice. (Students are always surprised when Digger tells them that homework is a form of practice!)

  • Topics Shared at the Middle School Level Include:

  • How students can prepare themselves to live a life where they call the shots (children of this age generally dislike being "told what to do all of the time").

  • There is nothing "geeky" about taking the "hard" classes.

  • Digger’s own personal difficulties with academics and discipline at the middle school level.

  • Why America needs (many, many) more women engineers.

  • Topics Shared at the High School Level Include:

  • A high school diploma is not really a piece of paper; rather, it is a key, a key one can use for opening locked doors that lead to adventures and opportunities. Digger explains to the students how they can get issued a "Master Key," one that opens ANY door!

  • That everyone in the audience NEEDS to go to college or attend some type of technical school. Digger advises them, "Don’t cheat yourselves!"

  • An education strong in technical knowledge is critical to the pursuit of a technical career. Everybody knows this. However, Digger shares with the students why an education strong in technical knowledge is also indispensable to the pursuit of a NON-technical career!

  • Digger reveals his personal steps to formulate, strive for, and then attain difficult and significant goals.

  • Topics Shared at the College Level Include:

  • Digger illustrates how indispensable his formal scientific/engineering/technical training has been to his success.

  • How important it is for undergraduate engineering majors to persevere through the difficult freshman and sophomore years.

  • How to develop that ever-elusive "engineering intuition," and, once attained, how to use it to solve difficult technical problems.

  • The effectiveness of the "engineering mindset" in solving problems of ALL types, in ALL phases of life.

  • Preparing Students for Digger’s Visit:

    Digger likes to cover what can be advanced concepts for each age group; therefore, client schools are sent references for plenty of study materials several weeks before his appearances. Teachers thus get a chance to prepare students for their "visit from an Astronaut!"

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