On October 2, 2007, Logan Garrett, Jon Harder and Will Minear of the Knox County 4-H Youth Development programs were among 42 youth in grades six and above from all over Missouri who recently traveled via charter bus to the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. Paired with a visit to Russell Cave National Monument in Bridgeport, Alabama (this archaeological site contains the most complete record of prehistoric cultures in the Southeast), the trip gave the participants a wide perspective of history, time and human progress through the ages.
At the US Space and Rocket Center, the youth participated in the Space Camp Pathfinder program. The Pathfinder program is three days of non-stop activities exploring the history, present and future of manned space flight. Participants were immersed in hands-on training for a space shuttle mission. They experienced both shuttle and space station simulators, such as the G-force, Multi-Axis Trainer, and 1/6th Chair. Scavenger hunts and guided tours through the History of Space Museum prepared participants for a team "Space Bowl" quiz competition. The teams designed Mission Patches and constructed and launched their own rockets. For many, the highlight of the Pathfinder program was the Shuttle Mission simulation. The trainees worked together to launch the shuttle to the International Space Station, completed experiments that approximated those conducted in space and returned their crew safely to Earth.
The trip toward home included a stop at the Hard Rock Café in Nashville, TN.
The 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) program is the national priority of the 4-H Youth Development Program. Currently 5.9 million youth participate in educational activities that focus on science, engineering and technology. For more information on 4-H, and experiences such as the 4-H Space Camp trip, contact the Knox County University of Missouri Extension Center at 110 North 4th Street, Edina, MO or e-mail: Karen Loyd-Minear, 4-H Youth Development Specialist at: [email protected]