|Standing from left are, St. Helena College & Career Academy Principal Reginald Douglas, NASA Blueberry Alyssa Carson, Science Teacher Prasanna Epuri and SU Ag Center Assistant Area Agent Nicolette Gordon.|
Baton Rouge, LA – In honor of 4-H National Youth Science Day, students at the St. Helena College & Career Academy received a surprise visit from 15-year-old NASA Blueberry Alyssa Carson on Oct. 10th.
Alyssa, who has dreamed of becoming an astronaut since the age of three, had some very encouraging words for the academy’s 8th, 9th and 10th graders. Carson, who is an active NASA Blueberry shared with youth that she spends a substantial amount of time researching various topics on Mars. Her main goal is to be one of the youngest astronauts to go on a short mission to Mars, by the year 2020. As with many goals, preparation is the key ingredient and Alyssa’s long list of impressive accomplishments puts her right on target.
Carson also advised youth interested in aerospace to begin training at NASA Space Camps. These camps provide simulated missions, engineer challenges, and sharpen leadership skills. She stated that she has already completed Space Camp Turkey, Space Camp Canada and will soon be one of the first to complete all NASA Space Camps in the world. Students were in awe, as Carson demonstrated with a basketball and string how far Earth is from Mars. The best analogy that Carson gave, was to think about 300 football fields. Certainly, that raised many questions and peaked a lot of interest throughout the auditorium.
There are so many technological advances taking place daily in space, and she concluded by reminding all youth that they are the “Mars Generation.”
Article written by Nicolette Gordon, SU Ag Center Assistant Area Agent.