Sunday, August 12, 2012

KSC Space Camp

Instead of having a birthday party this year, Steven asked if he could go to Kennedy Space Center for a week over the summer for their space camp. I was delighted because it took a lot of pressure off of the already jam packed month of May for me, and he is such a Science brained kid, I knew he would enjoy his time there. HE LOVED IT.

Space Camp was not some disorganized day camp with teenagers running the show. The instructors all had degrees in the field of Science and Engineering, and were well versed on the Space program. There were kids from Shanghai and Korea who had come just for the week to learn with a group of about 200 others. Steven learned so much, and had such an amazing time learning about rocketry and how it feels to be an astronaut. He also met a couple astronauts over the course of the week. He spent 8 hours a day at the camp and loved every second of it. I would pick him up and he would go on and on about how his day went, using scientific terms that I half understood. He was particularly proud when he was chosen as Commander of his crew.

The trip to KSC is about 2 hours from our house, 4 round trip. So, I decided that it made more sense for us to just get a hotel, and stay the week rather than driving back and forth every day. We took my mom along, and Amanda Lily and Nana did Sewing Camp in the hotel room while Steven was doing his thing. During the evenings we all went down to Cocoa beach for some shell searching and boogie boarding.

The trip was a huge success, and Steven told me he never wants to have another birthday party again....he wants to go to Space Camp every year. Done.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Backyard Camp Out

We promised our kids a camp out before going back to school. George and I pitched our old tent and started a smore's fire in the fire pit. We all enjoyed swimming in Lake Kountanis, aka the pool, before settling in to telling spooky stories. Steven hoped to get a good look at the stars with his telescope, but unfortunately it was a cloudy evening. We stayed out until around 11:00, then promtly took ourselves back inside to sleep in our cozy cool house. However, we did make a promise to give it another try during late fall when the evenings are cooler. The sticky Florida summer air was just too much!

Mars Rover Landing!

My science brained, NASA loving boy got the thrill of a lifetime tonight. The last couple of weeks, the count down has been on in our house for the Mars rover, Curiosity, to land on the surface of Mars. Steven was so excited about it last night that he literally started jumping up and down while explaining to me every step of the mission. I listened as best I could, but can't say I understood every very technical word coming out of his mouth. He even wore his NASA outfit to show his support.
Dad stayed up with him to share in the excitement. Amanda Lily and I went to bed, and watched this morning on the DVR. When mission control got the news that Curiosity had successfully landed on the surface of Mars, I couldn't help but smile. All the years of hard work for those people had come to a wonderfully dramatic end. They all  jumped out of their seats and cheered, and I cheered for them.
Steven has spent the morning glued to the TV, soaking in all of the images, and information he can. One news caster described it as the "Super Bowl of Science", and my budding scientist couldn't agree more.

Steven in his NASA suit.

Here's a picture of the Orion space capsule aka the space shuttle replacement. NASA is hopeful it will be the vehicle that transports the next generation into 12 years. Steven has done the math.