ETX elementary students have close encounter with NASA - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

ETX elementary students have close encounter with NASA

Sabine County elementary students get a peek into new interactive learning Sabine County elementary students get a peek into new interactive learning
SABINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -

Sabine County first graders are getting a rare and personal look inside NASA space operations.

The NASA museum in Hemphill connected with space personnel in Houston as a part of their first usage of the new interactive classroom.

"It's like a treasure in our own back yard," said first grade teacher Charlotte Wood.

These 24 first graders from are getting a rare look inside NASA.

They're the first group to use the new digital learning center at the Patricia Huffman Smith NASA museum.

"I love learning how they did stuff in space," said first grader Cora Love.

The kids are talking live with NASA workers in Houston-giving a glimpse at life as an astronaut.

"How space men sleep and eat and drink and stuff," said first grader Caitlyn Blodworth.

"Well, I learned about it in class, and I've never seen videos like that," said first grader Jared Johnson.

For school kids, knowledge is now at their fingertips, no longer something you only see in a book.

"I want them to know that anything is possible. If they want to be an astronaut one day or they want to be a teacher one day, I want them to have an opportunity to learn and to make choices and to go for the skies," said Wood.

Museum curator Kay Simpson says a $100,000 investment is proving to be a priceless learning tool.

"This is just a real learning experience for them," said Simpson.

Since opening just last year, the museum has already toured 6,000 visitors through exhibits and memorials to the shuttle Columbia disaster.

With the addition of the classroom, Simpson expects attendance to climb.

"They are so open at this age. And, some of the older kids, you know, they've already formed opinions and stuff. But, these kids are experiencing part of history," said Simpson.

It's one more way the museum is preserving the legacy of Columbia's final crew.

Simpson says the lab can also be used for companies, needing to interact with personnel who may live out of state.

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