Julie Payette: 20 years later

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A little over 20 years ago, on May 27, 1999, astronaut, engineer, jet pilot and musician Julie Payette took off aboard Shuttle Discovery for the International Space Station (ISS). At that time, she became the first Canadian to take part in such a mission in space.

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Just over 20 years ago, on May 27, 1999, astronaut, engineer, jet pilot and musician Julie Payette took off on the Space Shuttle Discovery for the International Space Station (ISS). She became the first Canadian woman to take part in such a mission in space. She then assumed the role of Chief Astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency from 2000 to 2007 before leaving for a second mission, in 2009, to the ISS once again. 

"She is a model from every point of view," said Aline Chrétien, the wife of the Prime Minister of Canada, who made the trip to Cape Carnaveral. “For the family, for young people, for work, for women… in all respects, he is a model. A lot of people are going to be inspired by it. "

Source: Radio-Canada, May 27, 2019

With two missions under her belt, Julie Payette has logged 611 hours and more than 16 million kilometers in space. Julie Payette's career is impressive, as she was Governor General of Canada.

“Julie Payette has received numerous awards and distinctions in her career. She is the extraordinary companion of theOrder of Canada, extraordinary commander of theOrder of Military Merit, Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces and Signet of theNational Order of Quebec. She holds 27 honorary doctorates from universities across the country. "

Source: Canadian Encyclopedia, January 26, 2018

Julie Payette has never been in the norms and knew how to stand out in traditionally male circles. She was, and still is today, a role model for many Canadian women seeking access to science and technology positions.

“Adapting has become a way of life! From high school to university, I have always chosen technical fields; consequently, I found myself in classes where there were few girls. When I studied abroad, I was often the only student in class who had French as a mother tongue, blond curly hair… I regularly found myself in situations where I was a little out of the ordinary, and that never bothered me. "

Source: My job

The challenge

What are the students' ambitions and dreams? What are the ways in which they achieve their goals? We suggest that they write their thoughts on a blog.



Disciplines and levels targeted

- Science and technology

  • Elementary cycle 3: Systems and interaction (Earth, atmosphere and space technologies)

- Ethics and Religious Culture

  • Elementary cycle 3: Persons who are members of society (self-affirmation)

Targeted dimensions of digital competence

  • Producing content with digital
  • Communicate with digital
  • Developing and mobilizing information literacy
  • Collaborate with digital

Suggested digital tools

  • Miro or Popplet
  • Anchor or Garageband
  • Green Screen and iMovie
  • Wix, Blogger, Google Sites

Educational intention of the guide

At the end of these activities, students will be able to recognize the influence and impact of models like Julie Payette on science and on society in general.

Objectives of the activities

  • Discover Julie Payette's journey and create a mind map that summarizes her accomplishments.
  • Learn about life on the International Space Station (ISS) and make an audio recording of a typical day.
  • Simulate a discussion between an astronaut in space and his team on Earth in video format.
  • Write a blog post on assertiveness.

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Designed to fill short periods or inspire larger projects, the activities offered in the SCOOP! allow the teacher to approach the subject matter in the program in addition to developing the information literacy and digital skills of the students.

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