NASA brings the space shuttle to LBWCC#039;s Kids College

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 21, 2005

One of them could travel to space one day.

It could be the aspirations of any one of the approximately 50 children, ranging in ages from five to 15, gathered behind Lurleen B. Wallace Community College on Monday.

They were there to listen to Roy Priest,

as he gave a presentation and exhibition of a NASA space shuttle.

Priest is a strategic outreach planner for the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.

He was there as a part of the annual Kids College that is held each year at the campus.

Priest gave a presentation on NASA's main objectives and mission.

First, he explained that NASA wants people to understand and protect Earth.

Next, NASA wants to continue to explore the universe and search for life.

Finally, NASA wishes to inspire the next generation of explorers.

Little did he know, Priest had some very knowledgeable children in his audience.

The children were very interested and gave impressive answers to many of his questions.

"Who would you take if you had to spend six months with just one other person in the International Space Station?" Priest asked the group. This question, however, brought about some deep thought and wonder.

During his presentation outside, Priest exhibited a model of the space shuttle, which stood approximately 8-to-10 feet high.

It was an exact replica of NASA's space shuttle, which returns to space if all goes as planned in mid-July.

The program was grounded in 2003 following the Columbia disaster.

"NASA's current activities include a return to flight and an expanded vision of space exploration. In the year 2010, we still stop flying this space shuttle," he said.

"We will be building a newer, safer shuttle for our astronauts and it will be able to do more."

The audience of young people became excited about the ideas of floating in space, returning to the moon, and of possibly walking on Mars one day.

One young participant summed up a good description of this summer enrichment class: "Awesome!"

The Lurleen B. Wallace Kids College and Teen College programs began June 13 and will continue until July 1.

These summer enrichment programs are being offered to children in the Butler County area ranging in ages from five to 15.

Prices range from $20 to $35 per class.

Linda Adams, continuing education coordinator, said the NASA program was just one of many classes offered.

Some of the other classes offered include "Music and Me," where students learn how to read music and play instruments, "Art Explorer," "See It/Draw It," and "Stargazer," which focuses on space exploration and science.

In addition to these, LBW will be hosting driver's education classes for 15-year-olds this month.

"Those classes are already full," she said.

Furthermore, there will be a Golf Camp for 12 to 15-year-olds, which will take place the last two weeks in July.

It will be held at White Oaks Golf Club.

Anyone interested in attending the golf camp should register at the campus.

Anyone interested in any of the summer enrichment programs offered at LBWCC should contact Adams at 382-2133 for more information.