My Writers of the Future Journey – Day 6 – 11th April 2014 – Part 2

We were buzzing after our trip to Bang Printing and, despite the bouncing of the bus, many of us took the opportunity to get our books signed by the other writers and artist contributors to the anthology (like Pokemon – one simply must catch them all!).

Day-6---workshops67Day-6---workshops66

The Challenger Learning Center at the Columbia Memorial Space Center is one of many Challenger Centers established by family members of the seven astronauts that passed away when the space shuttle Challenger disintegrated shortly after take-off in 1986. The role of the centers is to educate children about the wonders of space discovery so that they might also be inspired to dream big and perhaps take up this incredible field of science and adventure themselves.

Day-6---workshops34

Day-6---workshops33

day-6-wotf69

The center is an amazing place. Its ambition to inspire thinkers and dreamers to imagine and invent new possibilities for our future goes hand-in-hand with the reason many of us writers write some of the science fiction we do.

Our guide for the day:

day-6-wotf50

Inside the center, we were greeted by the wonderful June Scobee Rodgers, widow of Commander Dick Scobee and one of the founding members of the Challenger Centers. She has been a supporter of Writers and Illustrators of the Future for many years and even came to our awards ceremony. I was most honored to sign my story in her book.

Day-6---workshops18

Day-6---workshops20

The center is full of amazing displays and interactive learning. Our group had a ball.

Day-6---workshops17Day-6---workshops26

Day-6---workshops28day-6-wotf72

day-6-wotf71day-6-wotf65

day-6-wotf68day-6-wotf67

day-6-wotf74

I did not excel at paper plane design:

day-6-wotf73

Just like movie stars, astronauts have also made their mark in cement blocks.

day-6-wotf66

The center has a replica NASA mission-control room where groups of children can guide those in a neighbouring ‘space shuttle’ room to carry out missions on such remote places as the moon and Mars.

day-6-wotf52Day-6---workshops13

Day-6---workshops12Day-6---workshops9

Day-6---workshops8Day-6---workshops11

In my happy place …

Day-6---workshops10

We also got to visit the ‘space shuttle’ room, where interactive modules had been set-up to give us a taste of some of the duties one might need to perform as working astronauts. We even had to go through an airlock to reach it!

day-6-wotf62day-6-wotf64

day-6-wotf60day-6-wotf61

Day-6---workshops71

day-6-wotf59day-6-wotf58

day-6-wotf53day-6-wotf54

day-6-wotf55

We also got to program Lego robots to travel along set paths on a board and collect items. This was loads of fun and I wish we’d had more time as I wanted to perfect it!

day-6-wotf81

day-6-wotf78day-6-wotf80

day-6-wotf79

day-6-wotf85day-6-wotf84

Day-6---workshops30

day-6-wotf82

I found the collage at the entrance to the center in Downey very moving. Made up of hundreds of photos of the seven Challenger astronauts who died in their prime, both life and career-wise, it didn’t just represent the tragedy of losing such clever, talented, driven scientists and family members, but the joy and inspiration of seeing members of the human race striving to live out their dreams and passions.

day-6-wotf70

day-6-wotf76

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “My Writers of the Future Journey – Day 6 – 11th April 2014 – Part 2

  1. Oh Shauna, what a wonderful experience you’ve detailed here! Thank you so much! I’ll be there in less than a month, and you’ve really helped me to look forward to the experience! Thank You!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s