It wasn't just Thursday at an elementary school in Jackson, it was "Space Day." The imaginations of 400-plus students at Watkins Elementary ran wild with an out of this world exhibit.
Jackson State University joined with NASA and the Traveling Space Museum, Inc., to bring a mobile space camp to Jackson Public Schools and Hinds County Schools. The museum provided a hands-on experience which educators hope will inspire these youngsters to pursue science and math.
Wilbur Walters, Ph. D., is the Interim Chair of Jackson State University's Department of Physics, Atmospheric & Geosciences, helped make this a reality for these young students.
"I remember I didn't have that opportunity here and this may seem like something small, but somebody's going to get that spark," Walters said. "Somebody's going to be interested by some of the things they see and carry it on through life."
Pamala Heard, Ph. D., is the director of JSU's NASA Educator Resource Center said the experience is like a field trip, except the exhibit comes to the students.
"Open their eyes, to get excited and see some things and say, 'I can do that', 'can I do that?', " Heard said. "Get them thinking, and so if you get them started early and get that spark early. Grades are better, they have an idea, they have some goals."
Also participating in the event were Jackson Police and Fire Departments, Army and Air National Guard and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. The program wraps-up Friday with Space Day at Byram Middle School.
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