Two Aurora Public Schools students had a blast this summer at Space Camp 2010. Columbia Middle School students Autumn Page-Tinsley and Dominic Wenger were the only students from Colorado who attended the camp, sponsored by Northrop Grumman.
The corporation sent a total of 48 students to Space Camp 2010. Autumn and Dominic were selected through an essay competition held at the school. Northrop Grumman covered all the costs of the week-long camp, which took place last month at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
The mission of Space Camp 2010 is to be the premier provider of authentic, inspiring, and entertaining educational experiences in space science and aviation. The goal for the student component of Space Camp is to inspire and motivate the next generation of explorers, scientists, teachers, and engineers. The Northrop Grumman sponsorship provides life-changing experiences to students who have the unlocked potential to excel with the right support – inspiring them to dream big and to work to make those dreams a reality. All activities correlate to national science, math and technology standards.
After the students arrived back home, they shared their thoughts on Space Camp 2010.
“Space camp is a wonderful experience that I will never forget. I've made so many new friends that I will definitely keep in touch with. My team and I went through some of the most fun times ever, including, rides and activities like space shot and g force, missions we went on, building rockets, the Star Wars exhibit, and one of my favorites area 51.
I went to space camp with a curiosity for space and space travel which was only intensified. Before space camp I never realized I wanted to join the air force to hopefully become a shuttle pilot. Listening to Robert Hoot Gibson share some of his experiences with space travel was a highlight and an influence. In my missions I was the flight director in mission control and the EVA specialist in the orbiter. Space Shot was my most favorite ride, I love thrill and this ride did just that. The g force made me laugh because the way it made me stay so in place I could barley move. When we built the rockets it was so much fun and they were so life like, I loved it. The Star Wars exhibit was so big, I'm a little bit of a Star Wars nerd so I really enjoyed it.
My personal favorite was area 51 where we worked as a team to cross the finish line across these cement blocks using wooden boards without touching the ground, another activity we did there was where we had to get to the other roof top using wooden boards but they didn't quite reach the other one which was challenging but we did it. I learned a lot about different things including about specific missions, Hoot Gibson's stories, the rockets, the first people in space, and the Hubble.
It’s hard to leave because it was such a magical time which I am so grateful for. Space Camp was even more than what I expected my teammates and I can all agree we would come back in a heartbeat. I wasn't necessarily surprised by what I learned because I expected to learn a lot, but what I did learn was interesting and exciting. My over all experience was amazing, I can’t say enough about how much fun I had and how grateful I am to have had this experience of a lifetime due to our sponsor Northrop Grumman.”
“It is a great honor to tell you about Space Camp, and the amazing things that I did there. I'd have to say that the most challenging thing that I did, was my second mission, in mission control. I was the flight director, in which I make sure everything runs smoothly, and, whatever the mission is, everything needs to happen on time, such as the countdown, the landing on the moon, or fixing a satellite up in Space. It was a tough job, because there would suddenly be problems with the shuttle, and it was my job to tell Capcom the solution. All-in-all, the second mission went smoothly and we landed safely on the Earth.
What I liked best about Space Camp, was I got the chance to meet an astronaut. His name is Dr. Robert Hoot Gibson, and he is often called, "The Man Who Has Flown Everything", for the obvious reason, he has flown everything as long as it has a stick and buttons. Dr. Robert Hoot Gibson told us about all of his trips up into Space, and how he and his crew set a world record for the most people up in Space at one time in the same shuttle. Going to Space Camp has most definitely influenced my future Dreams and life. I never realized how much I really want to be an astronaut and work for NASA. Seeing the missiles and rockets was an eye opener for me and meeting an astronaut made me want to try harder in science and math so I can hopefully fulfill my lifelong goals.”