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Holy Name of Jesus School's Out-of-This-World Journey to the Johnson Space Station

November 03, 2023

Holy Name of Jesus School

In a remarkable and unforgettable adventure, the eighth grade class of Holy Name of Jesus School embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Johnson Space Center in Houston through the STEM-Liner III program.

This incredible experience was made possible by the Tribute to Valor Foundation and the Avalon Carver Foundation, which provided a gateway for these young minds to explore the wonders of outer space. What made this journey even more extraordinary was the mode of transportation – a C-130 military airplane.

Holy Name of Jesus School, along with students from Transfiguration School and other Catholic high schools, boarded the C-130 military plane in late October, that would take them on this thrilling expedition. The anticipation in the air was palpable, as our student had the unique opportunity to travel together, sharing their excitement and enthusiasm; most of whom had never been on an airplane. The journey began with a sense of unity and purpose, as the students learned about military service and heard from one of the sixty-six living recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Principal Marilyn Cedeno could not have been more proud.

Mrs. Smith’s 8th grade class looked forward to learning about the mysteries of our universe and the remarkable achievements of NASA. The aircraft's roar was a testament to the adventure that lay ahead, and the students couldn't have been more thrilled. Upon arrival in Houston, the students were greeted by the towering Space Center Houston, a place where dreams of exploration and discovery become a reality. The students were immersed in a world of cutting-edge technology, space history, and the monumental achievements of human space exploration. They had the privilege of exploring the astronaut training facilities, marveling at the historic artifacts, and even meeting real-life astronauts who had ventured beyond our planet. One of the highlights of the trip was the chance to witness the underwater training facility where astronauts actually train.

The students were able experience the same conditions that astronauts faced during their missions. It was a humbling and awe-inspiring moment, reminding them of the incredible dedication and courage it takes to explore the cosmos. Throughout the trip, the students had the opportunity to engage in hands-on activities, including operating robotic arms and experiencing what it's like to be an astronaut in training. These experiences ignited their curiosity and passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, encouraging them to dream big and consider careers in space exploration.

The journey to the Johnson Space Station was not only an educational expedition but also a profound lesson in unity, as students from different Catholic schools came together to share in this incredible experience. The bonds formed on that C-130 military plane were strengthened throughout the trip, creating lasting friendships and a sense of community that extended beyond their individual schools.

As the students returned home, their hearts were filled with wonder and gratitude for the Tribute to Valor Foundation, the Avalon Carver Foundation, and all those who made this remarkable journey possible. The trip to the Johnson Space Station had a profound impact on these young minds, inspiring them to reach for the stars, both figuratively and literally.

The story of HOLY NAME OF JESUS School's journey to the NASA Space Station is a testament to the power of education, collaboration, and the endless possibilities that lie ahead for our future explorers and innovators that would not have otherwise had this opportunity. This adventure will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of these students, motivating them to pursue their dreams and make their own contribution to the world of science and discovery.