Missions to Mars and back

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By Monique Larkin


By Monique Larkin

A Mars rover rolled over six children who made “excellent rocks.”No screaming, all giggles.

In order to create an early interest in space and engineering in children, UC Riverside hosted its annual Space Day Oct. 30 presented by Jet Proposal Lab/NASA.

Space Day is an event that is designed for children from ages 6 to 12.Rosalie Betrue is a representative from JPL/NASA. She stood by individual posters that displayed current missions that NASA has been pursuing.

“Each of the missions gave up information so people could see what is going on at NASA,” Betrue said.

Her favorite poster highlights two important questions of NASA. “Is there life really out there? Are we the only ones?”

“We are always going on quests for other planets and looking for other solar systems,” Betrue said.

“This is a wonderful opportunity that we participate in every year,” Betrue said. “It is a good kind of educational outreach. We look forward to coming every year.”

Sixty-five engineering students from UC Riverside, representatives from JPL/NASA and members of the community, volunteered for this event.Jim Cook is one of those happy volunteers as he proudly wears the nametag, “ask me about other worlds.”

“I like to see how children learn,” Cook said as he agreed that parents need to get their children participating in events like these.

Cook has been an elementary school teacher for 13 years, and he loves teaching children about their world.

“Their minds are like sponges,” Cook said. “They have no reservations.”The excitement of the day reflected in the children who participated in activities that assisted them in understanding what makes up a solar system, how to make a planetarium, what a comet is made out of and how to make a paper rockets.

“It is events like these that give children a glimpse of the future,” Cook said.

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