Sunday, July 02, 2006

FIELD TRIP: KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL

[June 24, 2006] -- As a boy in 1983, I began to enjoy science more thanks to my science teacher, Ms. Zoller. She was cool. She was into the song 99 Red [Luft] Balloons and the Eurythmics, too. She also gave me a real science background on how things worked. In turn, I used to decorate her large classroom bulletin board with space shuttle 8 x 10 color images which NASA would send to me. It was a great learning tool.

Now, fast-forward to 2006 and I have been working these past few years on giving my children a science background -- planting the seeds at an early age.

For example, a few days ago we traveled to Orlando to visit family and go to the beaches. On June 21st, I took my two daughters and oldest son, Aaron, to what used to be my playground and workplace in the 1990's -- the Kennedy Space Center.

I took them inside the restricted grounds and traveled to the launch pad where space shuttle Discovery sat awaiting launch in a few days. I explained to my children just what they were looking at and what would later happen in just days. Next, we traveled to an area where Emily [age 5 1/2] and Rachel [4] would touch an actual moon rock which was brought back from a latter Apollo moon mission. I then explained what the rock meant and a bit about the moon. They were asking questions!

Later, the four of us went over to view two actual Mars rover models, like the two which roamed Mars several years ago. Aaron really enjoyed this part, and he even had the opportunity to contol via joystick one of the rovers.

From the space sciences to the rocket engineering aspect, my children took in so much during our visit to KSC. They saw up close a real shuttle main engine, too. Some might state that they won't remember this years Iater. But in the few times we have visited KSC, Emily and Rachel know more about space sciences than some adults. Learning begins early and as a parent, I want to instill in them that there is more to an education than just learning in a classroom. I want them to learn from the source, too.

I took alot of pictures and video for us to look back on as they develop their minds -- not with video games, but with a field trip of learning.

 
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