The Birmingham Airport Authority held its annual poster and essay contest in March. The winners of this contest were awarded a one-week overnight camp scholarship at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville over the summer. 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.
Trainees spent the week 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. The crew returned to Earth in time to graduate with honors!
Space Camp operates year-round in Huntsville, Alabama, 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. Nearly 700,000 trainees have graduated from Space Camp since its opening in Huntsville in 1982, including STS-131 astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger and European Space Agency Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. Last year, children and teachers from all 50 states and 64 international locations attended Space Camp.
“The Birmingham Airport Authority and its community program sponsors are overjoyed to be part of investing in our community’s youth,” said Al Denson, President and CEO of the Birmingham Airport Authority. “These gifted students are an asset to our community and we appreciate their families support and guidance to reach for the stars.”