Space Camp scholarship offers chance for earthly adventure

Lisa Hartmann
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern

NASA Space Camp is a place where kids come together for a journey they will never forget. Each child learns about astronauts and space travel, and also develops something even more important: the bonds of friendship.

This is a microcosm of the life of military children. They travel, they learn, and they quickly bond into friendships that many times last for life.

It is fitting then that the Military Child Education Coalition has created a Space Camp scholarship in memory of one of its brightest and finest children, Bernard Curtis Brown II. Bernard, the 11-year old son of Chief Petty Officer and Mrs. Bernard Curtis Brown, was killed on Sept. 11, 2001, when the hijacked airliner on which he was a passenger crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

The MCEC officers and directors feel, and Bernard’s family agrees, that this is a fitting way to honor Bernard’s memory. The scholarship gives military-connected children the opportunity to have an extraordinary experience that brings together the worlds of service, science and learning.

The Bernard Curtis Brown II Space Camp scholarships are funded by the MCEC and other donors. The scholarship covers full tuition, meals, lodging, program materials, and transportation from the student’s home base to the nearest Space Camp and back.

To be eligible for the scholarship, each student applicant must be a child of an active-duty military parent, be enrolled in grades 6 through 9, write an essay stating why he or she should be selected, submit two letters of recommendation with contact information, and complete and submit the application by the deadline.

Other considerations for receiving the scholarship include evidence of patriotism, future goals, community service, and “after-camp” plans for sharing information.

Space Camp is a five-day program that shows youngsters first-hand what it takes to be an astronaut. Activities include simulated Space Shuttle missions, training simulators, rocket building and launches, scientific experiments, and lectures on the past, present and future of space exploration.

Offered at Huntsville, Ala., Space Camp takes a unique, fun and hands-on approach to learning outside the classroom, and students leave with a greater appreciation for school and their studies.