Few of the 27 St. Petersburg College students who traveled to the Kennedy Space Center on Feb. 15 knew they would experience a simulated launch, talk to an astronaut, stand near the space shuttle launch pad, tour the Vehicle Assembly Building or touch a moon rock … but these were just a few of the experiences made available to them during their up close and personal tour of NASA.
Student Kyle Harriot called the visit emotional. “I loved watching the space shuttle launches from my front yard at my house, and now that it is gone, it seems very quiet there,” he said. Harriot called the simulated space launch his favorite activity because “now I know what it feels like to lift off from an actual space shuttle.”
Yadira Sierra said the visit to the Space Center was emotional, inspiring and educational. She said she had “this huge sense of pride … because I am an American; I’m a citizen of such a savvy and intellectual nation, and one day one of my kids could be the one building these rockets … what a wonderful feeling!”
Bobby Finn was fascinated with “expansive, gorgeous Cape Canaveral” but pointed out the student camaraderie was perhaps the best part of the field trip. He said he noticed during the trip home from NASA that “the jocularity, banter and eager communication among the birthing of new friendships formed was a stark contrast to the silence of the pre-dawn trek across state. It is activities such as these that last a lifetime in the memories of our young … leaders of tomorrow.”
“If I were offered to go on this trip again, I would immediately say yes and register,” Harriott said. “This trip was so much fun and I learned so many different things. This is by far my favorite field trip ever in college.”
The NASA field trip was organized for ethics students by Dr. Adeniji Odutola, Chair of the Ethics Department, and sponsored by the Ethics Department. Dr. Odutola organized the trip based on his experiences traveling with SPC education students. He hopes to offer the field trip to ethics students during future fall and spring semesters.