Mission accomplished: Tahoe Lake students study at Space Camp | SierraSun.com

Mission accomplished: Tahoe Lake students study at Space Camp

Special to the Sun

TAHOE, Calif. — Jack Morse, of Tahoe City, and his buddy Duke Arnold, recently attended SPACE CAMP® at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, NASA's official Visitor Information Center for Marshall Space Flight Center. The weeklong educational program promotes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), while training students and adults with hands-on activities and missions based on teamwork, leadership and decision-making.

They attend Tahoe Lake School. Jack is in Ms. Boyle's class and Duke is in Mrs. Rye's class, both are fourth-graders. The two boys have been interested in space and science since they were little and they have been friends since they were 2 years old. The boys are skilled in math and science and are always building and constructing spaceships and science experiments. They flew alone to Alabama to meet Jack's grandparents who have a house there.

Jack and Duke took part in the Space Camp Program, which is specifically designed for trainees who have a particular interest in science. They spent the week training with a team that flew a simulated Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Once aboard the ISS, the crew participated in experiments and successfully completed an extra-vehicular activity (EVA), or space walk. Jack, Duke and crew returned to Earth in time to graduate with honors.

Space Camp crew trainers, who lead each 16-member team, must have at least a year of college, and 67 percent of the 2011 staff are college graduates. Space Camp operates year-round in Huntsville, Ala., and uses astronaut training techniques to engage trainees in real-world applications of STEM subjects. Students sleep in quarters designed to resemble the ISS and train in simulators like those used by NASA. More than 560,000 trainees have graduated from Space Camp since its opening in Huntsville in 1982, including STS-131 astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger.

Last year, children and teachers from all 50 states and 58 international locations attended Space Camp.

Interested in training like an astronaut? Visit http://www.spacecamp.com or call 1-800-63 SPACE.

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