• Thu. May 12th, 2022

4-H NASA Astro Camp events inspire Iowa youth

ByDebra J. Aguilar

Jun 18, 2021

This week, Iowa 4-H kids got to aim for the moon by attending Astro Camp events from June 14-18.

Camp Astro gives all young people the chance to get involved and experience science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Astro Camp lessons help young people develop their career dreams of tomorrow and develop life-changing goals through STEM skills. These events inspire future astronauts and engineers to learn more about space with unique NASA activities.

The Winneshiek County Astro Camp ended with a positive camp experience on Monday. “The youth were able to experience hands-on activities that fostered creativity and a collaborative team approach,” noted Liz Siepker, K-12 Program Coordinator, Winneshiek County. “The youth developed mission patches, habitat structures, designed helmets to keep an egg safe during a launch, made solar paper, and launched paper rockets.”

Participants at the Winneshiek County Astro Camp believed that the lessons included the right amount of advanced equipment as well as basic information related to space exploration. “My favorite lesson was the rocket launcher with the altitude tracker using math to calculate the distance the rocket traveled,” said a young participant.

“The activities of the Astro Camp program allowed the students to be as creative as they wanted,” said Kayla Burke, intern from Winneshiek County. “It was great to see all the ideas they were able to develop and the different approaches they took to designing mission patches, building space helmets for falling eggs, and inventing habitats to live on Mars! “

Astro Camp is made possible by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Iowa 4-H Youth Development and statewide STEM partners including the NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium, the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, the Science Center of Iowa, the University of Northern Iowa, the Putnam Museum and Science Center, and Iowa PBS.

Sara Nelson is a 4-H STEM Program Specialist and Deputy Director of Education and Outreach for the Iowa Space Grant Consortium. Nelson said, “Astro Camp shows the important role partnerships play in delivering high quality STEM education across the state. We are proud to collaborate with so many outstanding STEM educators to deliver this opportunity. It’s very exciting to see so many young people being active and engaged in STEM.

For more information on Astro Camp, visit the Iowa 4-H website.

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