“It just opens up a whole new world for them”: Study at the Space Foundation Discovery Center

Digital Now

COLORADO SPRINGS — Ask seven-year-old Samuel Willis if he’s an expert in all things space, and he will tell you..

“Yeah, in a way,” Samuel said. 

It’s his second visit to the Space Foundation Discovery Center, and Wednesday marked an open house for their Home Study program, something Samuel couldn’t stay away from.

“Because I love science,” Samuel said. 

“I think it’s excellent for him. I mean, hands-on experience is better than reaching out of a book, which is flat you know? He gets bored learning out of books and this is all hands-on,” said Naomii Willis, Samuel’s mother.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Space Foundation offered an open house to their Home Study program once a month.

It has since been expanded, with two virtual days and two in-person days each month.

“We really wanted to assist teachers in our community, parents, and students as they go through this really tough change,” said Rachel English, a curator at the Space Foundation. 

Each open house is full of scavenger hunts throughout the museum, and workshops, like driving a rover in their Mars robotics lab. 

“You need parachutes, you need a camera, and you need something connected to the parachutes so that they don’t fall off,” Samuel said. 

“Our goal here at the Space Foundation Discovery Center is for everyone to come away with the realization that space is a part of our lives every single day. We don’t have to grow up to be astronauts to have space impact us and to be a part of space exploration,” English said. 

Parents who homeschool are thankful to have this as part of their science curriculum.

“It just opens up a whole new world for them and learning about space science, something that is definitely going to be more part of their future. And I’m not an expert in it, and so, these guys are and I think they do a great job here,” said Megan Engebretson, who took her children to the Space Foundation.

Click here to learn more about the Space Foundation.

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