Middle school students virtually experience moon landings of Apollo program

NASA, Advent Health offers gateway into STEM for students

By Julie Broughton - Anchor

ORLANDO, Fla. - Through a partnership with Advent Health University and NASA, some Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida students experienced first hand what it may have been like for astronauts on the Apollo missions.
 
"They weren't alive for the lunar landings, clearly. They probably don't remember much about the space program at their age, they're all middle schoolers," said Kendra Presley-VanHouten, director of community engagement for Advent Health University.
 
The students were led by Dr. Esther Beltran, a NASA-sponsored physician. Each student was assigned a "mission" to go on one of the six lunar landings for the Apollo missions. From there, they viewed through virtual reality goggles what the astronauts may have seen on their actual missions.
 
"If somebody had done that to me when I was young, I would be really, really and excited and it would have helped me continue working and studying," said Beltran. "I think that's particularly important because young girls need to have somebody they can see make it happen, so I think it's very important to have role models in their lives."
 
Seventh-grader Tyrell Davenport is 11 years old.
 
"It's amazing how NASA could sponsor this for the children and give us more opportunities to learn," he said. "It's like you're actually there ... I might actually want to do this one day."
 
The goal of  this exercise is to expose students to opportunities they might not otherwise experience.
 
"We want these kids to understand there are so many different layers to science and space science is one of those layers," Presely-VanHouten said. "Space science and medical science go hand in hand."
 
If you'd like to learn more about camps and programs through the Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida, click here.

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