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Lift Off to Learning: Scenes from our annual Summer Learning Day

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More than 2,000 of Southern California’s bravest astronauts explored the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey on Saturday (June 22) in celebration of our 5th Annual Summer Learning Day, and in conjunction with our Summer of Space!

As part of our early learning efforts, PBS SoCal created Summer Learning Day in part to reinvigorate learning amid the “summer slump"—a period of time when students may forget some of what they learned the previous school year. With the 50th anniversary of the moon landing on their minds, the next generation of engineers experimented with the scientific principles that professionals use in developing real-life space technology. Of course, they started with one small step.

Lift Off to Learning: Scenes from our annual Summer Learning Day.
Lift Off to Learning: Scenes from our annual Summer Learning Day.
Lift Off to Learning: Scenes from our annual Summer Learning Day.
Lift Off to Learning: Scenes from our annual Summer Learning Day.
Lift Off to Learning: Scenes from our annual Summer Learning Day.

The adventurers created balloon rockets to test force, used an astronaut glove to observe and test different materials, and built rovers to identify how technology can solve problems. In addition to a plethora of great space activities, the museum exhibits allowed young learners to fully immerse themselves in the science and technology that makes space exploration possible. Plus, the musical stylings of The Amoeba People—including the world premiere of their song One Giant Leap—helped guests lift off into learning.

Lift Off to Learning: Scenes from our annual Summer Learning Day.

The highlight of the day for many was a pleasant surprise to us all: Susan Ingle, who worked on the Apollo 11 mission and is featured in an exhibit at Columbia Space Center, stopped by our event and shared her story with many young people who aspire to follow in her footsteps.

We rounded out our day with free learning resources and activities from our community partner organizations, photo opportunities with Jet and Luna and out-of-this-world face painting. While the event had to end eventually, we hope the learning never does! Check out some fun games and resources here to continue the curiosity all year round. We’ll see you next summer!

Lift Off to Learning: Scenes from our annual Summer Learning Day.
Lift Off to Learning: Scenes from our annual Summer Learning Day.
Lift Off to Learning: Scenes from our annual Summer Learning Day.

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