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Laser Scientist Prof. Hildreth (Hal) Walker, Jr. & Dr. Bettye Walker will be the featured Guest Speaker at Santa Monica College’s New Student Services Center Auditorium “Launch! – Air & Space, STEM, and the Arts”

Laser Scientist Prof. Hildreth (Hal) Walker, Jr. & Dr. Bettye Walker will be the featured guest speaker at Santa Monica College’s New Student Services Center Auditorium

“Launch! – Air & Space, STEM, and the Arts”

Thursday, April 6, 2023 @ 11:15 AM

Los Angeles, CA —Laser Scientist Hildreth (Hal) Walker, Jr., who was the first man that was African-American to successfully fired the KORAD-1500 Ruby Laser to the moon in 1969 during the Apollo 11 Moon Landing and his wife Dr. Bettye Walker, is the featured Honored Guest at Santa Monica College’s (SMC) A Scientist Spotlight & Career Discovery Event, entitled “Launch! – Air & Space, STEM, and the Arts”.

This special activity is FREE and open to all SMC’s students, faculty, and media outlets on Thursday, April 6, 2023, from 11:15 AM to 12:35 PM at Santa Monica College’s Student Services Center Auditorium, 1900 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405.

The program is A Live Presentation of Air and Space Adventures with invited panelists discussing careers in STEM and the Arts, specifically featuring the careers and accomplishments of Prof. Hildreth “Hal” Walker Jr. and Dr. Bettye Davis Walker. The event will be emceed by Ivor Dawson, founder of the Traveling Space Museum, long-time STEM and the Arts evangelist, and facilitator of many Air & Space-themed educational and industry events from science fiction to science fact.

On July 20, 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first humans ever to land on the moon.  Part of that mission was for Walker to precisely deploy the Laser Ranging Retroflector to transmit signals to Earth the moon’s surface. After astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin set up an 18-inch-wide reflector mirror on the moon’s surface, Walker directed a laser beam from Lick Observatory in Mt. Hamilton, California, and made contact with the mirror. This major achievement, now known as the Lunar Ranging Experiment (LURE), was the only interactive planetary experiment that took place for the first Moon Landing. It is also one of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Milestones: #198. These milestones celebrate major accomplishments in the field of electrical engineering and reflect Walker’s importance to the field.

Dr. Bettye Davis Walker is an internationally renowned educational innovator, former University professor, and researcher who has worked with students in Europe, West Africa, and presently in South Africa. The A-MAN STEM Program is an outgrowth of the Pilot Educational Research Project that she received and directed which was funded by UCLA.  Dr. Walker is also a Rotarian and a Board Member of the Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) Rotary Club. She has developed partnerships with Rotary clubs in Vermont, Cape Town, and Pretoria and coordinated the establishment of more than a dozen state-of-the-art Computer Literacy Labs in schools throughout South Africa, funded by Rotary International.

The Walkers are co-founders of the African-American Male Achievers Network

(A-MAN) STEM International Science Center and the Cape Town Space Society, a Chapter of the National Space Society, headquartered in Washington, D.C. A-MAN is dedicated to building the leaders and participants in science and technology for tomorrow. They share their legacy with girls and boy students and provide experiences that prepare them to attend higher academic institutions and begin fulfilling the nation’s leadership and technological needs.

In 1997, President Nelson Mandela invited the Hildreth and Bettye to establish and implement science and technology programs in townships and schools across South Africa. Prof. Walker and Dr. Bettye made history again, on February 27, 2019, when South Africa welcomed the opening of the first chapter of the National Space Society (NSS) on the African Continent: The Cape Town Space Society (CTSS). Prof. Hal and Dr. Bettye Walker founded this first-ever Chapter.

Professor Hal and Dr. Bettye Walker are amazing people, with important stories to tell, as they move forward in the world of science and technology, generously sharing their knowledge with the world.

For additional information on A-MAN, visit their  website at: http://www.aman.org