(This article first appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer on August 24)
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Liam Karlson, of Cincinnati, recently attended Advanced Space Academy at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, home of Space Camp, Space Camp Robotics, Aviation Challenge, U.S. Cyber Camp and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s Official Visitor Center.
The weeklong educational program promotes science, technology, engineering and math, while training students and with hands-on activities and missions based on teamwork, leadership and problem-solving.
This program is specifically designed for students who have a passion for space exploration. Liam spent the week training with a team that flew a simulated space mission to the International Space Station, the moon or Mars. The crew participated in experiments and successfully completed an extravehicular activity, or spacewalk. Liam and crew returned to Earth in time to graduate with honors.
Space Camp operates year-round in Huntsville and uses astronaut training techniques to engage trainees in real-world applications of STEM subjects. Students sleep in quarters designed to resemble the ISS and train in simulators like those used by NASA.
More than 900,000 trainees have graduated from a Space Camp program since its inception in 1982, including European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and NASA astronauts Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, Kate Rubins, Serena Auñón- Chancellor and Christina Koch, who is serving onboard the International Space Station. Children and teachers from all 50 states and nearly 150 international locations have attended a Space Camp program.
Liam has spent five summers at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and attended all levels of camps to reach the Advanced Space Academy. His goals are to attend two more specialized programs across the nation geared towards space exploration and STEM. He would like to attend the United States Naval Academy, MIT and eventually apply to NASA after college and service.
Margie Phillips (via mother Bridgett Karlson), U.S. Space & Rocket Center