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NEWS | July 21, 2017

NASA launches mobile exhibit at JBA STEM Day

By Airman 1st Class Valentina Lopez 11th Wing Public Affairs

Have you ever wondered what life would be like on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s International Space Station?

Joint Base Andrews’ military children had the opportunity to find out the story of NASA and specifically, the ISS. During NASA’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Day here, July 14, more than 75 kids experienced the story through a mobile exhibit.

To create a hands-on experience, the Driven to Explore mobile exhibit included audiovisual technology, astronaut food, a spacesuit photo opportunity, an astronaut glove and helmet mock training, and a chance to touch one of eight moon rocks in the world.

“Exciting kids about STEM is important to this community and this country,” said Col. E. John Teichert, 11th Wing and JBA commander who attended with his two kids. “I enjoyed seeing the kids’ smiling faces as they climbed into the astronaut suit.  My kids’ favorite part was learning about the moonrock and the packaged astronaut food. I want to thank the Youth Center and NASA staff for giving us this great opportunity.”  

The event was part of a JBA youth program initiative to help military children interest in higher education, careers or military service.

“I think anything that sparks an interest in children can lead them down a path to pursuing future careers,” said Lt. Col. Lisa Christensen, 89th Airlift Wing pilot. “This event helps reinforce that science and math are important and lets kids look at how it is applied in the real world.”

The exhibit connects people to the space program and they learn about the advanced human research that ensures safe future exploring beyond low Earth orbit, according to Crawford Jones, NASA media and outreach specialist.

The mobile exhibit is now on its way to the District of Columbia and Baltimore as part of “Destination Station,” NASA’s national awareness campaign that promotes research opportunities and educates communities about activities and life onboard the ISS.