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Spring 2004 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

Space Camp

By Maggie Johnson, Student, Victoria, TX

Abstract: The author shares her experiences of attending Space Camp.

Key Words: blind, family, camp, personal experience

Let me tell you a little bit about myself and a wonderful experience I had. I have achromatopsia and my acuities are 20/200 with nystagmus. But it never held me back from doing what I wanted to do. Then, a wonderful opportunity came.

My vision teacher told me about Space Camp. That particular week was only for visually impaired students. I thought it sounded like fun and looked forward to going. Then reality hit. I had to go to the library about a hundred times to get more information on the camp. I also wrote two essays for a chance to win a scholarship.

I won the scholarship, which paid for tuition. Next thing I knew, I was on a plane headed for Huntsville, Alabama. Jim Allan, who helped organize the Texas team, and my sixth grade science teacher accompanied me as my chaperones.

There were three different programs from which I was able to choose. I participated in the Space Academy, Level One for grades seven through twelve. Even though I was one of the few seventh graders in the group, it was still really fun. There were people from across the country, as well as Ireland and Australia. My three roommates made space camp an even better experience.

I did many terrific activities that gave me the opportunity to experience what it’s like to be in space. Every night I had lectures about space and past missions. Some of it was fun, but not every minute was exciting.

Probably the activity I liked the least was a two hour mission with my team. We were in an orbiter simulator that let us experience what a real space mission was like. I guess I’m not ready to be a pilot because our orbiter crashed in southern Asia. “Houston we have a problem.” I want to go again, and maybe by tenth grade I’ll be better.

Overall, space camp was a great experience. One thing I’ve learned is that learning is never over. So, now here I am typing this article because my vision teacher says it will be good for college. She also had me do a PowerPoint presentation, which I gave to my science class. Not only did I learn more about rockets, but also my chaperone, who is a regular education science teacher, expanded her knowledge about space and the visually impaired.

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Last Revision: September 1, 2010