News & Events to Inspire STEAM Education

David Ruck Director & Producer of “I want to be an Astronaut” Film Screening at the National Space Conference | Countdown to ISDC 2014

David Ruck Director & Producer of “I want to be an Astronaut” Film Screening at the National Space Conference | Countdown to ISDC 2014

Apr 23, 2014

David J. Ruck is a photographer, filmmaker and educator, currently based in Maryland. David’s production company – Rubangfilms – specializes in emotive imaging: creating film, video, and photographic projects that inspire an emotional reaction from audiences. His latest production, “I want to be an Astronaut“, was premiered aboard the International Space Station and has been widely covered in the national media advocating for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) educational programs. David will be screening his film this summer in the amphitheater of the Historic National Academy of Sciences Building to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the American Astronautical Society, in Washington, DC. The film will also be featured at this year’s ISDC National Space Society conference in Los Angeles on Sunday, May 18. QGITS was thrilled to talk with David Ruck about his film documentary “I want to be an Astronaut” and the importance of having a space program.

David Ruck

QGITS: What inspired you to become a filmmaker and storyteller that highlights important issues like space?

David Ruck: I have been making films for about 14 years, I have never made anything like this one before but I was really inspired by hearing Neil DeGrasse Tyson on the Bill Maher show talking about NASA’s budget and how we spent more money bailing out the banks in 2008/2009 than we had in the 50 years in the space program. While I was not paying attention to space at the time, however; I knew that NASA was a source of inspiration for young people that wanted to be astronauts.  A contextual example of why you need to learn science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). So are we paving the way to be a nation that’s setting the bar high for our the future, serving the ultimate American dream, if you will, this idea of wanting to be an astronaut? If we don’t have a space program even capable of getting humans into space then have we completely lost that dream? I really wanted to know what the consequences of that would be on the everyday person. Through this journey identifying this young man, who not only wanted to be an astronaut since he was 3 but at 17 he really had a full body vision of wanting to remove humanity beyond earth for political, economic, social and cultural reasons. I found this kid who had this vision of why this important and I received more than what I bargained for and that’s when I felt what he was really up against because nothing inspires kids more like a vibrant space program. If we don’t have that then we are forfeiting not just our future in space but our economic future. I think the space program is a source of national pride an example of what the government can do when it’s doing its best and why the average citizen should be interested in space.

View the official trailer of “I want to be an Astronaut” documentary – The dream of one boy. The fate of one nation. Our future in space.

QGITS: What was it like documenting someone like 17 year old Blair?

David Ruck: Meeting Blair and following his First Robotics team – Chantilly Robotics Team 612 - really gave me hope. Teams at 15 and 16 years old build robots to help solve real world problems. I just didn’t even know these things were possible for them to do at this age or to even be working on – I think that’s a testament to the First Robotics program and other programs like it.  I saw the potential of our future and if these kids were given exciting opportunities down the road, then that just gave me a lot of hope. It also really frustrated me when I see that, in spite of the fact, there are clearly qualified individuals out there ready and willing to commit themselves for these challenges, yet we haven’t committed ourselves as a nation to making this a huge priority. That’s why I made this film and that’s why I have gone from being someone who wasn’t paying attention to space, into someone who now understands and appreciates the young people who want to pursue these things and what they are going to be offering us in the future. We need to pave the way for them to be successful.

QGITS: Anything else you would like to add?

David Ruck: Ultimately the goal of this film is to emphasize the importance of the space program, what the space program has done for us, and what it could do for us as a nation in the future if we decide to make space exploration a priority.

More Latest ISDC News & Updates: Three Nights, Three Days tells the story of how America’s second largest city came together in a uniting moment to shepard a national treasure through its often troubled streets. With only three Orbiters to allocate across the country, NASA supplied the Space Shuttle Endeavour to Los Angeles under the instruction that she be immediately placed on public display. Faced with the daunting challenge of squeezing a huge priceless object through nearly 13 miles of relatively narrow roads to the California Science Center, literally thousands of engineers, law enforcement representatives and volunteers pulled it off against considerable odds. Endeavour’s epic final journey, dubbed Mission 26, is chronicled in this as-yet-unreleased film which will be presented by producers Melissa Eccles and David Knight.

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