Early STEM Education

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Win a Family Trip to Space Camp with Space Racer’s Photo Contest!

Win a Family Trip to Space Camp with Space Racers!

I have great news, friends! Sprout’s “Space Racers,” have whipped up more STEM magic for the Pre-K crowd, and it ROCKS! Right now they are gearing up for the SEASON 2 PREMIERE (November 5th on Sprout), and they want you to join in on the fun! YOU have the chance to Win a Family Trip to Space Camp with the Space Racers photo contest! You’ll also be entered in their daily giveaway of an Annual Museum Membership once you’ve entered. (Details for the contest can be found here.) Why is this something that I can get behind? Well, you’ll just have to read to find out!

Who is STEM for? Everyone, of course! 

I used to say things like, “I’m not good at math,” or “Oh, that’s too complicated to understand,” for much of my life. “Technology hates me,” was another one, but around 9 years ago, I told that little voice inside my head to put a lid on it. How do I know that it was 9 years ago exactly? Because that was when my daughter was born. I realized then, that any misguided internal dialogue I had, would inevitably be passed down to her, like a bad habit, and I was not about to let that happen!

I began to think beyond “pink” from the moment I found out I was having a girl. Sure, pink was invited to come along, but it was with the rest of the rainbow. Ballerinas and tutus were hung out with explorers and excavators, and pinks and purples paired up with oranges and greens. I wasn’t settling for anything less than offering her the complete rainbow and an entire world of possibilities.

To stand behind the words “you can do and be anything you want,” I made sure we got our hands dirty. Both of us. Lead by example, right? I stopped saying those negative remarks to myself, and when I did, I rediscover a host of my own childhood passions – including a very deep rooted one in space exploration. It was a passion that my daughter and I still share today.

STEM Education and STEM-based play are important.

Children are small for just a flash of time, and we have the opportunity to harness their enthusiasm and curiosity. A lifelong passion with an array of things can be reaped from experiences they are exposed to early on in life. Early STEM Education is really about experience. Give children the tools they need to feed their wonder by asking them questions, and then give them more information to keep feeding their curiosity! You’ll be amazed at what they retain!

The kid that fills their pockets with rocks, might just be a budding geologist. Ask them what they observe about the rock, the colors and the textures. Then, explain how the lines on the rock were formed at different times of Earth’s history, buried, compressed and then finally unearthed for them to find.

The kid that points to every plane in the sky might be an aeronautical engineer one day if you help them identify aircraft and what makes each one different. Does it have one propeller or two? Or are there jets that give it its propulsion? Show them ariel photography, then show them what the world looks like from 249 miles above the ground, which is the height of the International Space Station. (Want to spot the station at night? Sign up with SpotTheStation.NASA.gov.)

Yes, there is immense value in managing the proper amount of screen time for young children, but when it is allowed, you also have a choice of the quality and type of content that is being consumed. By adding a dose of STEM, packaged in a playfully fun and engaging television show, you may very well be planting tiny seeds of interest in engineering, physics, astronomy, aviation, aeronautics, and more.

That is why I was thrilled to help Space Racers spread the word about their upcoming season premiere.

Below is a recent press release from them.

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Press Release from Space Racers –

To celebrate the premiere of season two on Sprout, Space Racers is launching a nationwide contest to engage future astronauts. Parents are invited to submit a photo of their young ones to www.SpaceRacers.org/contest, where they can enter to win an all expenses paid, grand prize trip to Space Camp® for their family. Each daily winner will receive a family membership pass to a local science museum. The contest runs from October 6th – November 4th.

“We’re excited to introduce Sprout viewers to Space Racers,” says Amy Friedman, SVP Programming & Development at Sprout. “The show taps into preschoolers’ endless curiosity about space. We think it will capture the imaginations of our audience and make a great addition to the Sprout family.”

“We are proud to be working closely with the U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s Space Camp on this stellar launch campaign as we countdown to the premiere of Space Racers season two on Sprout,” says Space Racers’ Executive Producer Michael Matays. Kids and parents are also invited to join the big launch celebrations on Saturday, November 5th at select science museums nationwide.

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL will be serving as official “Mission Control” for the festivities. Mission Support Centers include:

  • Space Center Houston, TX, the official visitors’ hub of NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center for human spaceflight activities
  • The Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton, VA
  • NASA Wallops Flight Facility Visitors Center in Wallops Island, Virginia
  • The Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA
  • The Challenger Learning Center in Normal, IL
  • USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, AZ;

Participants at Mission Control and Mission Support Centers will be treated to special launch day activities and private Space Racers screenings, and get to be part of the official countdown to the series premiere blast-off on Sprout – to be streamed live on the Space Racers Facebook page www.facebook.com/spaceracers starting at 11:45 AM ET. The live stream will be led by retired NASA astronaut and Space Shuttle commander Robert L. “Hoot” Gibson.

“Space Camp® and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center are thrilled to support Space Racers as it reaches a wider audience on Sprout,” Dr. Deborah Barnhart, Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center said. “Space science is the perfect launch pad for inspiring curiosity and a love of learning in the next generation of explorers. We can’t wait to share the newest adventures of the Space Racers crew!”

Applauded by parents and critics for its STEM-focused curricular themes, season two of Space Racers features some of NASA’s most famous scientific explorations, including Mercury’s MESSENGER probe, the Voyager One spacecraft, and Mars rovers Curiosity, Opportunity, and Spirit.

Space Racers is collaborating in a partnership with the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s Space Camp, to which NASA serves as a technical and educational consultant pursuant to a cooperative agreement. The groundbreaking animated series introduces girls and boys to exciting, humorous tales of action & adventure in space, on Earth, and on other planets in our solar system, and inspires a new generation of future astronauts and scientists. Season two presents 40 new space adventures, bringing the total library to 90 across both seasons. Space Racers’ first season is currently airing internationally in over 130 countries and 25 languages.

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Best of luck to the team at Space Racers on the launch of the Second Season, and best of luck to my readers who will toss their hat in the ring for the contest!

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