US space camp gives children firsthand experience

World Today

US space camp gives children firsthand experience

In the U.S., every year, thousands of children get a firsthand space experience at summer camps.

CCTV America’s Roee Ruttenberg has more.

US space camp gives children firsthand experience

While stuck on earth, children get to experience what life beyond its orbit might look and feel like through summer space camps. CCTV America's Roee Ruttenberg has more.

Seamus Hoolahan said he remembers looking at the stars and wondering what’s out there when he was just 3-years-old.

Now, at age 15, he’s attending a sleep-away camp in Alabama that’s dedicated exclusively to answering that question.

Hoolahan is one of thousands of American children who choose to spend their summers at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, known as Space Camp. The camp opened in 1982. And since then, more than a half million boys and girls have gone through the center’s programs.

Having a few former astronauts on hand helps: Bob Stewart logged nearly 300 hours in space, and now volunteers at the camp.

It’s been nearly 50 years since an American astronaut became the first person to step on the moon. It was dubbed ‘a giant leap for mankind.’ A moment captured in time, it was shown over the years to millions of American youth. Camp organizers are hoping the next giant leap will start right here.

Each year, the U.S. Space Agency, NASA, spends around $100 million on education. But it’s programs like these that are largely credited with not only helping inspire American children to care about space, but also contagiously attracting children from abroad to actively participate in such interactive activities.