Local Space Academy students

Eufaula students Elliott Clayton and Bernie Smith each recently attended Space Academy in Huntsville.

HUNTSVILLE -- Elliott Clayton and Bernie Smith, both of Eufaula, recently attended Space Academy at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, home of Space Camp, Space Camp Robotics, Aviation Challenge, U.S. Cyber Camp and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s Official Visitor Center.

Both Eufaula students will be 7th graders in the fall at Admiral Moorer Middle School.

The weeklong educational program promotes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), while training students and with hands-on activities and missions based on teamwork, leadership and problem solving.

This program is specifically designed for trainees who have a passion for space exploration. Elliott spent the week training with a team that flew a simulated space mission to the International Space Station (ISS), the Moon or Mars. The crew participated in experiments and successfully completed an extra-vehicular activity (EVA), or spacewalk. Elliott and crew returned to earth in time to graduate with honors.

Space Camp operates year-round in Huntsville, and uses astronaut training techniques to engage trainees in real-world applications of STEM subjects. Students sleep in quarters designed to resemble the ISS and train in simulators like those used by NASA.

More than 850,000 trainees have graduated from a Space Camp program since its inception in Huntsville in 1982, including European Space Agency astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti and NASA astronauts Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, Dr. Kate Rubins, Dr. Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Christina Koch, who is serving onboard the International Space Station. Children and teachers from all 50 states and almost 150 international locations have attended a Space Camp program.

Anyone interested in training like an astronaut can visit www.spacecamp.com, or call 1-800-637-7223.

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