NASA Explorer School Gives Students High Hopes

Astronaut Joe Acaba
Astronaut Joe Acaba
Jack Boyd
Jack Boyd

PEARL CITY (KHNL) -- Children often reach for the stars, and now a program can actually help them achieve that dream - literally.

Each year NASA chooses fifty schools across the country to become "NASA Explorer Schools" and an O'ahu school is in that select group.

The local school NASA has honored is Pearl City Elementary.

This program is a partnership between NASA and educators to get more kids interested math and science.

A captive audience at Pearl City Elementary. Young eyes eager to learn about blasting off into space. Young minds full of questions.

"Do astronauts like being in space?" asked a little girl.

"Yes," replied NASA astronaut Joe Acaba to some laughter from audience. "You saw the vomit comet and that looked like fun, right?"

By becoming a NASA Explorer School, Pearl City Elementary will get exclusive teaching tools provided by NASA. Plus, kids get to meet astronauts like Acaba, who feels right at home here.

"I used to be a school teacher and kids are very interested about space," he said.

Today's an opportunity to change kids' minds about science, to make it cool.

"It's critically important to study because it's going to be a very complex and challenging world for the next fifty years," said Jack Boyd, a senior advisor with NASA.

A challenging world with many options.

"Whatever you do for a job, just make sure it's fun because it goes on for a while and you don't want to do something you don't enjoy," said Acaba.

This partnership with NASA has the support of our top leaders.

"Iit gives our young people here in Hawai'i the opportunity to live beyond their dreams," said Lieutenant Governor Duke Aiona (R-Hawaii).

To dream about blasting off into outer space and to pursue a future where sky is no longer the limit.

Each school involved in this three-year program is eligible to receive up to $17,500 to buy tools that support science and math education.