Space Week: Inspiring Brevard County’s Next Generation of Explorers
Space Week is a primary focus of our club, where we bring educational STEM outreach to our local community. Every fall we invite all Brevard County Public School 6th grade students to spend a day at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The day is designed specifically for our future explorers and their teachers.
Our young explorers will start their day at school waiting to embark a NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Bus that will shuttle them to their destination. During this short drive, students will watch videos and interact with their space expert hosts. Once these young explorers reach their destination, they will be divided into teams and engage in a variety of events based on key STEM learning goals.
Here’s a list of some of the fun activities explorers will enjoy:
- Building model rockets
- Designing robots or space habitats
- Meeting an astronaut
- Getting an up-close look at historic space vehicles
- Competing in educational, themed scavenger hunts
- Embracing the sights and sounds of a fully operational spaceport
Each year is a little different and more fun and exciting than the year before. When our next generation of explorers disembark their shuttle back at their school at the end of the day, they will be inspired and their lives changed forever. This is Space Week.
The Origin of Space Week
Space Week is a program started by the NSCFL and actually takes up a couple of weeks each Fall. The program began over a decade ago and the NSCFL has raised over $300,000 to help make this program happen each year.
Before Space Week, the NSCFL awarded $1,000 to promising college students with plans to pursue a career in aerospace. Though this initiative was very beneficial to those deserving young adults, the NSCFL Board felt there was a way to be better stewards of the money they were raising.
During this time, studies were being circulated within the aerospace industry showing how students geared towards math-intensive careers need to begin thinking about what classes they were going to take BEFORE entering into middle and high school. This is the age where these young minds start making more realistic decisions as to what they want to be when they grow up. With all the information in hand, the NSCFL decided the best way to be stewards of the educational dollars would be to inspire young minds to reach for the stars by inviting them to explore the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
NSCFL leaders brought the Space Week idea to Brevard County Public Schools and Delaware North (the company that manages KSC Visitor Complex) and everyone was thrilled about the opportunity to launch something so grand.
Space Week is free for the students and the schools. Annually, more than 6,500 students participate and it has evolved into an event the entire Florida space community looks forward to every year.
Our mission is to continue to provide this engaging and inspirational program for years to come!
Space Week only happens with the help of financial contributions, large and small, from corporations and individuals alike. Please consider making a donation to this important endeavor to inspire the next generation to reach for the stars.
An exciting part of our outreach to local schools, which your Space Week contributions help make possible, now includes Jim Kennedy — former director of the Kennedy Space Center — visiting with kids to tell them about the space program. Jim does this by sharing some of his personal adventures working for NASA, and offering his unique insight into current activities on the Space Coast and around the world. His talk includes several moving stories that will inspire school children and adults alike, and is accompanied by compelling space-related multimedia.
Want more information? Ready to schedule a school visit? Contact Jim Kennedy via his website:
Jim Kennedy’s school visits are made possible, in part, thanks to the generous contributions of the KSC Visitor Complex.