Falls Church residents Audrey Pounds and Ava Wodiska recently graduated from the Space Academy at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, home of Space Camp, Space Camp Robotic, Aviation Challenge, U.S. Cyber Camp and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s Official Visitor Center.
The weeklong educational program promotes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), while training students and with hands-on activities and missions based on teamwork, leadership and problem solving.
This program is specifically designed for trainees who have a passion for space exploration. Audrey and Ava spent the week training with a team that flew a simulated space mission to the International Space Station (ISS), the Moon or Mars. The crew participated in experiments and successfully completed an extra-vehicular activity (EVA), or spacewalk. Audrey, Ava and the crew returned to earth in time to graduate with honors.
Space Camp operates year-round in Huntsville, Alabama and uses astronaut training techniques to engage trainees in real-world applications of STEM subjects. Students sleep in quarters designed to resemble the ISS and train in simulators like those used by NASA.