The excitement was over the moon, literally last week as two very secure cases arrived at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska (CLCA) in Kenai. Summer Lazenby, director of educational operations at CLCA and a certified moon rock handler received the cases containing material from the lunar surface or moon rocks as they are known here on earth. “To hold particles of the moon in your hand here on earth is truly exciting and a testament to mankind’s achievement and ability. I ‘m not old enough to have heard John F. Kennedy say we choose to take a man to the moon and return him safely, but when Russia sent up the first Sputnik it kicked off a space race that gave us the vision of going to the moon and we did and today parts of the moon are right here in Kenai, Alaska and from that initial endeavor an entire range of space science has come about that directly impacts every person in America every day from microwaves to cellphones, medical science, laptop computers and the cars we drive and what we pack in our kids lunch box all are connected to those achievements, ” Lazenby told the Dispatch.
The moon rocks will be part of a CLCA community event coming January 28th from 5:30- 7:30pm called “The Mission Continues: A Lunar Event.” It’s the 30th Anniversary of the Challenger space shuttle disaster, “Instead of focusing on the loss of those brave astronauts we are continuing their mission with this event. We are continuing their mission of getting kids excited about science, technology, engineering and math, the STEM fields of education. So we are having our event where we will have the lunar rocks that arrived today and we’ll have our telescopes out and planetarium up, we’ll have a crater activity and we will actually be doing one of the activities that astronaut Christa McAuliffe who was on the shuttle that she was going to perform from space to one of her classrooms, we will replicate that the best we can here on earth one of the activities she had planned to do on that fateful mission,” said Lazenby. There will also be a debut of the new CLCA Lunar Quest mission at the event, “There’ll be many missions of our brand new simulated space craft missions called Lunar Quest and there is no charge, everything is free to the public Thursday night the 28th and everything will be on a first come first served basis and we are anticipating a large crowd,” said Summer. Learn more at www.akchallenger.org or call 907-262-2000.