Sara Poirier

Astronomer, Ontario Science Centre

Topics: Science & Technology
Interview Date: March-26-2013
Extraordinary Insights: I've been fortunate to have great mentors. Mentorship is incredibly important. Take a look around your work environment. Is there some young person coming up through the ranks who could use guidance? Or go to your university to see if there are career panels or opportunities for you to contribute to the next generation of students' careers. It's great karma and you'll feel better, to.

Audio-only version:

Sara Poirier is a Researcher and Programmer in Astronomy and Space Sciences at the Ontario Science Centre. Over the last decade, she has developed content for travelling science exhibitions such as Circus! and Facing Mars, as well as for the Centre's permanent exhibit halls, including the Space Hall and the Weston Family Innovation Centre. She has an honours degree in astrophysics from the University of Toronto. During her undergrad she was selected to represent Canada at the Vatican Observatory's Summer School in Astrophysics, and spent a summer working as a research assistant at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre. In 2006, she completed a graduate-level program in Space Sciences at the International Space University in France. Together with other students and under the direction of NASA AMES director, Pete Worden, she developed a proposal for a closed-loop habitat for the Moon. Currently, Sara is focused on producing shows for the Ontario Science Centre's planetarium and coordinating the on-site research program, Research Live! She is particularly interested in experiences which engage the public in scientific research, ranging from citizen science-style programs to university-led studies in which visitors can participate as subjects. In 2011, she was awarded the Telus Innovator of the Year at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Science and Technology Centres. Sara enjoys making science accessible to all and appears frequently in local and national media. She co-produces and hosts the TVOKids' popular science program 'Ask Sara' where she answers questions sent in by curious kids. (