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On-Site Staff / Program Design, Development, and Quality / Staff Leadership and Management

Build Your Kids’ “Moonshot-ability”!

Creative thinking. Bold imagination. Tenacity. Rising to a challenge. Innovation. Know-how.

Skills we work on building in kids in afterschool, right?

It’s also what it took to put together an amazing feat that made history, when on July 20, 1969, humans first landed and set foot on the surface of the Moon.

President John F. Kennedy announced to the world NASA’s “Moonshot” challenge in May of 1961. NASA answered the challenge with a series of missions to the Moon, each making more progress towards the goal, until the Apollo 11 Mission launched on July 16, 1969, carrying three American astronauts on board. One of them, Neil Armstrong, became the first human to step onto the lunar surface. On that day, the whole world watched breathlessly to witness history being made.

Make this a great summer for your kids by joining NASA’s 50-year celebration of Apollo 11 this July! The missions that inspired a generation to pursue STEM in college and careers can serve as a springboard of inspiration for your kids, too, through a timely connection to local and global celebrations. Help bring out their inner explorer by choosing opportunities for kids to experience space science and engineering skills.

  • For quick, take-and-make activities that can also be done at home, try these launch, landing, and rover activities from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • Download the Forward to the Moon Explorer Activity booklet, with puzzles, matching games, mazes, and more for grades K-8. It includes information about NASA’s plans to return humans to the moon in the mid-2020’s.
  • Celebrate the anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch with your own rocket (simple ones count too) with a Global Rocket Launch challenge on Tuesday, July 16.
  • NASA plans to use the upcoming missions returning to the Moon as a proving ground for future human exploration of Mars. To add a moon-and Mars-theme to your summer camp, NASA has activity resources to use in camp settings and enrichment periods.
  • Like a good story? Written for educators inside and outside of the classroom, an Apollo 50th Anniversary “Teachable Moment” walks you through a brief history of how we first got to the Moon, what it meant to the United States and the world, and couples it with activities written for educators that help kids understand the Moon.

Take your own “small step” to help your kids make “giant leaps” in their future by being part of the celebration.

With summer bounty now in full swing, I added raspberries, blackberries, cherries, and peaches to my morning yogurt this morning! And I’m readying my astronaut suit for duty!

Image Credits NASA/JPL

Author: @leslielowes

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