When stay-at-home orders went into effect, live events as we knew them ceased. But this has been a boon for live streaming as musicians, teachers, and others jumped in on the format.
For Olympia LePoint, a former rocket scientist turned author and speaker, our current remote situation prompted her to embark on a new mission: reaching audiences from her living room.
She talks about her transition in the Q&A below.
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Olympia LePoint. I helped launch NASA missions into space for nearly 10 years as a rocket scientist. Now, I am an author, TED Speaker, and science journalist. I educate people in math and science. I show you how to use your brain so you find answers in life.
How have you conducted business in the past?
In the business world, the way to succeed requires the ability to adapt. You have to know what is needed, what you can provide, and what you can do to innovate what is already out there.
But then, stay-at-home orders began. Life as we knew it came to screeching halt. All live shows ended. As a science entertainer, I had to quickly determine how I could educate in an innovative way. As a scientist who deals with facts and numbers, I had to find a way to ensure that vital information was distributed.
My business changed. Instead of speaking to 6,000-member audiences at global technical forums, I transformed my websites to offer online education. I started giving live keynote talks online. First, it was through AnswersUnleashed.com on how to end implicit bias using science and innovative thinking. Then, I chose to create a math education homeschool to help parents educate their children in math through my website Mathaphobia.com.
What immediate effects did stay-at-home orders have on you?
Stay-at-home orders were tough to handle at first. In fact, I went into a mini depression that I had to grow out of. My mother had recently come out of surgery the day before stay-at-home orders. I fought to ensure we had fresh drinking water and food so my mother could heal. I became truly scared. Then, I realized the truth. I told myself: “You can get through this. And you will find a way to help millions of people from your living room.”
I was tasked with learning how to communicate with others through online video methods. At first, I did not have the best internet nor video capabilities to conduct educational courses. As the weeks progressed, I purchased a new computer, microphones, cameras, whiteboards, and lighting kits to make math education exciting from home.
What changes did you make to adapt to our current situation?