By Flora Posteraro
School has been out for the summer for a month now. You’re back from the beach and the 4th of July holiday is over. Already, the kids are screaming, “I’m bored there’s nothing to do!” Mom and Dad have plenty to do and they’re ready to pull their hair out! Sound familiar?
Why not take your kids on an out-of-this-world road trip. Just 2 hours south of Harrisburg is NASA’s Goddard Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The Goddard Visitor Center highlights the work of the Goddard Space Flight Center and NASA with exhibits, tours, and programs. The exhibits focus on space exploration, the sun and the moon, your kids can even stand in the footsteps of astronauts and examine a moon rock.
There’s plenty to see outside as well. The Rocket Garden features a unique collection of space artifacts, including an Apollo Spacecraft Capsule, Sounding Rockets, and a Satellite Launch Vehicle. The Ozone Garden teaches kids how ozone affects plant growth and air quality. The Astrobiology Walk probes the origins of life in our solar system and in space.
“Space exploration is fascinating! At Goddard Space Flight Center, we’re doing things never done before and then transferring that technology to commercial products. What we learn in space is helping us be better stewards of our own planet, Earth. At the Goddard Visitor Center, guests can see how the infrared camera works on the Webb Space Telescope, hear sounds from the Sun while immersed in its dynamic image, and learn about NASA missions tracking pollutants on Earth”, said Public Affairs Specialist Deanna Trask.
By the end of the day, your child will feel like an astronaut and can even look like one by posing for a picture in the astronaut cardboard cut out. The gift shop is loaded with everything NASA to remember the day, space-related clothing, patches and posters. The exhibits will keep the kids occupied for most of the day and the best part–Admission and parking are free! You can also schedule a tour.
For more information, go to https://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/visitor/home/index.html.