Astronaut visit has Prineville kids reaching for stars
Updated On: Mar 06 2014 09:37:17 PM CST
"That's the shock wave as we passed the speed of sound," NASA astronaut Dr Stanley Love explained Thursday, narrating some out-of-this-world home video to a Prineville gym full of schoolchildren.
"You have to cross your arms -- otherwise they just stick out like a zombie like my colleague's here," he said as the screen showed images from his time in weightlessness.
Crooked River Elementary in Prineville invited Love to talk to the kids about space and the importance of science.
"Because we do live in Prineville, and our children are not exposed to a lot of things like these, to have a true astronaut come to our town is an incredibly great experience," said Cheri Rasmussen, principal of Crooked River Elementary.
The day with an astronaut was unforgettable for some kids.
"Well, that's one thing that I will forever have in my life," said 7-year old Sam.
Love is an Oregon native, from Eugene, and says talking to kids about space is one of his favorite parts about his job.
"The future of our country is happening in schools right now," said Love. "And a chance to get out and show kids that math is cool, that science is cool, and technology is cool, is only going to make our nation stronger in the future. I very, very strongly believe that."
The message appeared to resonate with the little ones.
"Get your brain smarter, and it can get you into a really good college," said 6-year old Aspen.
"It's just something that everybody needs to do to get far in their life," said 7-year old Landon.
Crooked River Elementary students didn't just learn about space. Love also talked to them about believing in yourself and never giving up.
He told them how he didn't become an astronaut on the first try. In fact, he was turned down many times, but never gave up.
Now, with all the controversy about NASA on a federal level, he is helping to keep the space program alive in today's generation of youngsters.
"I think the space program is the way the nation goes to college. We learn things, it challenges us, it makes us better," Love said.
Love said he is especially excited to visit his home state and give back to the community. He said Oregon doesn't see a lot of benefit from the space program, so this is his way of showing Oregon taxpayers how valuable NASA is for the entire country.
After an exciting day "in space,,there's only one more thing the kids from Crooked River have to say to Dr. Love.
"Thank you!" the entire class shouted.
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