Space, or Bust!
That's how I always felt as a kid!
If you did, or know a kid today who's space crazy, or needs to be, take them to one of the many Challenger Learning Centers around the country! I just visited a great one in Columbus, Georgia. As soon as you launch yourself through the door, you are immersed in all things astronauty and space-agey, both historical, and, as cutting edge as it comes. (They had a new 3D printer working away!)
Of course, the Big Deal at a Challenger Center is participating in one of their mission programs. On this day, a class of sixth graders divided into two groups—one as the base crew and the other aboard a shuttle. (They swapped roles mid-way thru the mission.) Each child manned a workstation and was responsible for a role in getting the folks on Mars safely lifted-off for return to Earth.
But, oops! Suddenly there was one of those "Houston, we have a problem!" moments that the kids, I, uh, mean crew, had to take care of. It felt real and fun. It reeked of science, math, engineering, and technology. I am sure it is something that each child will remember forever, and some will be inspired to make space their career.
If a picture says it all, below is my granddaughter Avery, who came along for the ride.
God bless June Scobee Rodgers and all the other astronaut spouses and others who came up with this great idea in honor of the Challenger crew. It's an awesome experience expertly rendered.
Yes, we need gravity (or so I hear), but we also need the freedom to explore – unhindered – the possibilities that may lurk in our future. Kids are the future and they are up to the challenge!