For some students, summer time was spent at the pool. For three Daleville High School students, summer time meant learning about science and more at space camp.
Austin Horne, Alex Peters and Leah Steward attended the Space Academy for Leading Students in Alabama (SALSA) at the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville May 26-31.
According to a press release from the center, the weeklong camp “promotes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), while training students with hands-on activities and missions based on teamwork, leadership and problem solving.”
The students had the opportunity to train with a team to fly a simulated space mission to the International Space Station (ISS), Mars or the Moon and participate in an extra-vehicular activity (EVA) and other experiments.
“Space Camp operates year-round in Huntsville and uses astronaut training techniques to engage trainees in real-world applications of STEM subjects,” the release states. “Students sleep in quarters designed to resemble the ISS and train in simulators like those used by NASA.”
Student astronauts had early mornings and busy days participating in learning activities.
“We'd start the day early at 6:30 a.m. and have breakfast, then do a couple of learning activities and go to lunch around noon,” Steward said. “After lunch, we would go to the simulators. We'd have dinner around 5 p.m. and do a couple of learning exercises and group activities, and then we would head back to the habitats (dorms) around 8 p.m. and be in bed by 9:30 p.m.”
Horne said each day was different, even if the schedule seemed to follow the same pattern.
“We didn’t really know what we would do during the day until it came,” he said. “We were always wondering what would be next.”
Of course, each of the students had their favorite activity from the week. For Peters, a fun park ride was her favorite experience at camp.
“My favorite activity was the Moon Shot, which is a thrill ride at the rocket park where you shoot up in the air and then you come back down slowly, similar to the Dr. Doom ride at Universal Studios Florida,” she said. “It was my favorite because it was extremely fast and I enjoyed watching the reactions of the other people on the ride with me.”
Steward said she enjoyed connecting with her assigned group during camp.
“My favorite activity to do at space camp was the group activities,” she said. “It brought my team a lot closer together, and it was a lot more fun having others with me.”
Horne said he had a hard time choosing a favorite activi