Celebrating the First Phase of NASA ASTRO CAMP® at Bogalusa’s YMCA

Celebrating the First Phase of NASA ASTRO CAMP® at Bogalusa’s YMCA

As part of NASA's effort to make NASA Science available to all communities, including those traditionally underserved and under-represented, the NASA ASTRO CAMP® Community Partners® (ACCP) program helps nationally and internationally organize and distribute authentic NASA Science activities as their education specialists and logistics coordinators provide training and ongoing support to ASTRO CAMP facilitators. 

Leading up to the first-ever ASTRO CAMP at the Bogalusa, Louisiana YMCA on 411 Avenue B, the NASA Stennis Space Center Office of Communication’s 10-foot NASA Meatball and the larger Space Launch System blow-up displays were seen from the roadway next to the YMCA logo, raising awareness about the NASA ACCP/YMCA collaboration. This ASTRO CAMP, entitled, "To the Moon", was the first phase in a three-phase ASTRO CAMP program offering authentic hands-on NASA STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) activities. The next program phase theme will focus on living and working on the Moon and is called “Life on the Moon.” The third phase will focus on returning to Earth: “Coming Home”. The students attending all sessions will have taken a complete STEM trip to the Moon and back with the YMCA ACCP collaborating partners. 

Upon completion of the first phase, the ACCP team presented camp completion certificates during a closing ceremony and invited guests through their mobile planetarium for Louisiana’s STEM CAFÉ, held there on the same day. ACCP's mobile planetarium provided a unique viewing experience of NASA's new deep-space human spacecraft, which virtually traveled overhead inside the large, black, igloo-shaped viewing area and announced the "Dawn of Orion". The closing ceremony and Louisiana STEM CAFÉ attracted a large audience that "filled the gym with more people than I've seen in here for a while," said George Corkern, Bogalusa YMCA ASTRO CAMP® collaborator and coordinator. "This pilot program is off to a great start," said Rebekah Blair-Yarbrough, ACCP curriculum specialist. "You can tell this will grow in this community and make a difference for the kids."

NASA's ASTRO CAMP® Community Partners program is supported by NASA and is part of NASA’s Science Activation Portfolio. The ACCP team collaborates with community programs to bring NASA Science Activation activities to communities in fun and engaging ways, inspiring youth (with a focus on reaching underserved and under-represented groups) by sharing NASA Science. Learn more about how Science Activation connects NASA science experts, real content, and experiences with community leaders to do science in ways that activate minds and promote deeper understanding of our world and beyond: https://science.nasa.gov/learners


The image shows the closing ceremony flyer for Bogalusa's ASTRO CAMP.