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Would you like your child to be more interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)? Or do they already have their head in the stars and dream about one day visiting Mars? One Traveling Mom is on a mission to make sure her daughter is as confident about her abilities in math and science as she is in reading and writing. She sent her daughter to NASA’s Camp Kennedy Space Center to show her anything is possible for girls who do well in STEM subjects. Here’s what happened…
Why You Should Send Your Girls to Camp Kennedy Space Center
My 10-year-old daughter, Reagan likes to write, draw and sing. As much as we encourage her to take an interest in flying airplanes like her dad does, she says she wants to grow up to be a blogger and an artist, just like mom. Nothing wrong with that, but, knowing what great opportunities there are for women in STEM careers – especially aeronautics – we have been encouraging her in math and science every chance we get.
A Chance to Change Everything
We recently moved from Colorado to Florida, where we now live less than an hour from NASA. We’ve visited Kennedy Space Center a few times and regularly watch rocket launches from our backyard. But, none of it has ever really caught Reagan’s imagination, sadly. Then, the opportunity to send her to NASA’s Camp Kennedy Space Center and have her write about her experience was presented to us. The idea that she would get to write her very first blog post really excited her. And camp with other kids her age sounded fun too, so we said, “Yes!”
Could this be the thing that might finally widen her horizons? Here is what she had to say about her three days at Camp Kennedy Space Center – written in fourth-grade essay style. Read all the way to the end where I share what happened afterward!
Camp Kennedy Space Center Day One
Coming to camp the first day was really exciting and everyone was very welcoming. The first thing I did was get my t-shirt and name tag. Then we all went in a room to hear some of the rules in camp. Afterwards, we got to tell everyone a little about ourselves to get to know each other better. Next, we got to go on this super-cool simulator! It was a simulator to make us feel just like we were actually launching off into outer space. It did all sorts of loop-the-loops, and it went super fast! Then we got to go back to where we all first met and watched the movie, “Monsters vs Aliens,” while we ate our lunches we brought.
After lunch, we got to make three rockets: a pop rocket, an air rocket, and then my favorite rocket out of all (even though I forgot the name)! We only got to finish two of them that day, and the other one the next day. We also got to launch only one that day and that was the pop rocket. It was really fun to play with! It was a lot like the Root Beer and Mento science experiment I did at school, but this was more fun! Then, after making all the rockets it was time to go home. In my opinion, that was really fun, and I was so excited for the next day!
Camp Kennedy Space Center Day Two
When I got to camp the first thing we did was go upstairs to finish our last rocket. Afterwards we went outside to launch the last two rockets. The first one we did was the air rocket. We put the rocket on a launcher and had contests to see who’s got the farthest away when you launched it. Once we were done we moved on to our last rocket. For the last one we had a launcher connected to a button, and when you clicked it, you would launch the rocket into the sky! After that, we went to lunch and watched a show.
Our First Space Mission
After lunch we had to split up into two groups for the next activity. Then we split up again into “astronauts” and “crew” to do a space mission. I was one of the astronauts! Then everyone else stayed in a room while we got to go on the ship. Our counselor explained what we were supposed to be doing, and what all the buttons were. Then she chose four kids to go up into the top to steer the rocket. She chose a pilot and commander. I was the commander, which means I got to steer the rocket! She explained to the pilot and me what to do and then we started the launch. It was super fun! Then we switched so the other group could be the astronauts.
When we were done, we got to go outside and have a short recess. Then we came back inside and went in another room where the rest of the kids that did not have a chance to be the pilot and commander got their turn, only this time it was on a computer instead of the huge simulator. After that it was time to go home. I thought that was a really fun second day! But I was really sad that tomorrow was going to be my last day of Space Camp.
Camp Kennedy Space Center Day Three
It was the last day and I was really sad, but I knew it was going to be an awesome day because we were going to have a pizza party and then going to tour Kennedy Space Center (KSC)! The first thing we did was listen to how astronauts use the restroom – they wear diapers! Then we went outside to climb on a zero gravity space wall – it was so fun! After that we took a bus to KSC!
A Tour of Kennedy Space Center
When we got there, we got to see a live presentation from a real astronaut named Don Thomas! Then we got back on the bus to tour the grounds and saw actual launch pads and buildings where they design the rockets. We saw a real used rocket that is four times bigger than a normal-sized house! Then we got to see and touch a rock from the moon! After that we got back on the bus to go to our graduation at KSC. Our parents were there to watch us walk across the stage and shake hands with our counselors and to take our pictures. Then we got a certificate with our name on it and a picture of Don Thomas with his autograph! Then we could choose to go home or stay and enjoy the park with our families and new friends we made at camp. We stayed and rode down the giant slide at the Atlantis exhibit and rode the Shuttle Launch Experience! It feels just like you are blasting off into space!
My Favorite Things About Camp Kennedy Space Center
That was the best day of the whole camp in my opinion, but I wish it was still not the last. This camp was so great, because not only did I have fun, but it was very educational too. When I first heard that I was going to Space camp I thought it would be all education and tours. But it was more than that! It was really fun, plus I got to meet so many people from out of state, that I would’ve never met if it weren’t for space camp.
I also really liked my counselors. They were really nice and they taught me so much! My favorite part of the whole camp was doing the astronaut training simulation! It felt so real as I was doing it and I got to see what it’s like to fly a rocket to see if I want to be an astronaut in the future. I think I do!
I wish that I could do the camp again, because it was so fun! It was one of the best camps I ever have been to! So if I could go again I would!
After Camp Kennedy Space Center
It’s been a month and Reagan still hasn’t stopped talking about Camp Kennedy Space Center. She made friends from all over the U.S. and even Canada that’s she’s kept in touch with. And, the other day, I overheard her telling someone that her favorite subjects are math and science and that one day, she wants to be an astronaut.
Does your kid dream of one day being an astronaut? Have you ever thought of sending them to Camp Kennedy Space Center?