Mike Mongo, astronaut teacher and official Ambassador of Johnny Appleseed in Space, arrived at Urbana University this week as a visiting scholar. During his two-week visit, he will attend a variety of events and share insights into his efforts leading the Johnny Appleseed in Space project for Urbana University and the Johnny Appleseed Foundation.
Dr. Christopher Washington, UU’s executive vice president, and Pam Achenbach-Covert, Johnny Appleseed Museum’s coordinator professor, announced the appointment of Mongo as the official Ambassador of Johnny Appleseed in Space during Mongo’s International Space Development Conference’s keynote address in April in Arlington, Virginia.
United States launch service provider United Launch Alliance agreed to carry Ohio-grown apple seeds to and from space on a future flight.
The agreement to send seeds into space is the result of the Johnny Appleseed in Space Project, a STEM/STEAM initiative, to send apple seeds from Ohio-grown Johnny Appleseed apple trees to space and return them to Earth for distribution to participating schools for propagating and planting as “Johnny Appleseed Space Apple Trees.”
“Johnny Appleseed started his mission as a teenager, planting and propagating hundreds of thousands of apple trees from Pennsylvania to Ohio and beyond, allowing for homesteading and community building by individual farmers and families, while also bringing books and education to the absolute fringes of wilderness,” said Mongo. “Imagine how Johnny Appleseed would feel knowing his legacy and those same apple seeds are now being carried out to the stars.”
Planned events include:
· Thursday, Sept. 26 (4-6 p.m.): Johnny’s Birthday Party
All are invited to free event, which will include games, face painting, food, apple cider pressing and museum tours.
· Friday, Sept.27 (8-11 p.m.): Outdoor Movie Night
All invited to meet Mongo before and after the movie and join the discussion about Johnny’s role in inspiring people to look to the stars. Free to the public.
· Saturday, Sept. 28 (1 p.m.): Urbana University Football vs. Notre Dame College
Cheer on the UU Blue Knights as they face Notre Dame College. Mongo, the Johnny Appleseed Society and the Johnny Appleseed Foundation will be honored before the game.
Mongo will visit Champaign County schools to introduce the Johnny Appleseed in Space project and encourage students to participate in February 2020’s Champaign County Science Days and Science Fairs, while discussing agriculture’s role in tomorrow’s jobs in space.
About Mike Mongo
Mike Mongo is the founder of Mike Mongo’s Astronaut Job Fair and author of The Astronaut Instruction Manual (Penguin Random House). He is an active educational proponent of STEAM, as well as a dedicated proponent of astronautics-as-a-career for students in the United States and abroad. As an internationally recognized public speaker, educator and Space STEAM advocate, he teaches throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, Jamaica, Haiti, Mexico, the UK, and Colombia to encourage STEAM-directed students to pursue careers in astronautics and space-related industry.
UU’s Johnny Appleseed Educational Center & Museum
The Johnny Appleseed Educational Center & Museum holds the largest collection of memorabilia and written information about the life of John “Appleseed” Chapman. Complete with a computer research database, a family history, and National Registry of Johnny Appleseed’s relatives, the facility is a wealth of American history.
Submitted by Urbana University.