St. Patrick Catholic High School 2018 Graduate Spencer Wingfield had a unique opportunity to become a counselor for the 2018 Stennis Astro Camp®. He was a contractor for NVision Solutions, a space software company with a small education wing. For the first time in Astro Camp® history, contractors were mixed with NASA interns to be camp counselors.
Camps are held at INFINITY Science Center, and the program is developed with age-appropriate STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities and NASA content for student groups in grades 2-4, 5-7 and 8-10. Astro Camp® is a part of the NASA Out of School-time Learning and Human Exploration Organization initiatives, which seek to provide opportunities for learners to engage in STEM education activities that capitalize on NASA’s unique assets and content to inspire future astronauts and engineers to learn about space.
All Astro Camp® instructors are certified educators with STEM experience to ensure the robust instruction for campers, and Astro Camp® counselors are college-enrolled NASA interns. Additional certified educators will be participating in the 2018 Astro Camp® educational professional development program throughout the summer, connecting classrooms to NASA’s educational resources supporting both Next Generation Science Standards, and College and Career Readiness Standards, all applied utilizing NASA Astro Camp® methodologies.
The most interesting part of the camp was having to develop my interpersonal skills to work with people around the country as well as second graders. Ever since I attended Astro Camp® myself many years ago, my end goal has always been to work at NASA. Maybe I’ll beat the odds and become an astronaut, but at the very least, I’d like to work for NASA and design the spacecraft of the future. This summer was a great first step. – Spencer Wingfield
Congratulations on this exclusive — and exciting — opportunity, Spencer!