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Kids learning at space camp

June 23, 2009 4:15:40 PM PDT
Class may be out of session but the learning isn't over for students whose summer vacation blasted off at space camp! And guess who their teacher is, the first African-American astronaut to ever walk in space.The kids aren't rocket scientists yet but after attending the first ever science camp at Delaware State University they could be, especially after a visit from Dr. Bernard Harris, the first African-American to walk in space.

"It's pretty neat, it's like meeting a celebrity," said 12-year-old Jonathan Famiglitti.

Rather than being a celebrity, Harris hopes to be a role model.

"My job as an astronaut is not only to go into space and explore but to come back and inspire others to do the same thing to follow my footsteps."

Not all of the kids aspire to be astronauts but they all love math and science, which is why they chose this camp. And they all have plans that are out of this world.

"Yes, really big plans, I hope to one day own my own hospital," said 14-year-old Keenan Smallwood.

"Because to become a neurosurgeon you need to know a lot about physics, science and math," said 10-year-old Steve Shaw Jr.

"It'll help me become a better pediatrician when I get older," said 11-year-old Kareemah Parson.

Today these would-be scientists were faced with the challenge of designing a raft that would float, even though it was made with only two pieces of foil, 4 straws, and loaded with pennies.

"We put 4 straws in the middle and we blew in the straws to make it like air, so it would float and then we folding the side," said 13-year-old Tashyra Scott.

Well some rafts floated better than others even with Dr. Harris' guidance.

Hopefully the kids will go home learning that there are endless possibilities to the future using lessons learned in math and science and who knows, someone here may even follow in his footsteps.

"He went far in his childhood and that's the same way I want to go," said 11-year-old Aylin Flores.

While Dr. Harris will likely complete his missing of finding a future astronaut in this bunch, he'll also complete the mission of the two week camp to show kids that being bright is fun and cool.

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