19th annual Space Camp opens June 19 on Marietta campus

It’s almost too cliché to think the Final Frontier will be explored by a Pioneer, but that’s what Marietta College is going for next week.


Yes, Marietta has already produced one astronaut in Story Musgrave ’60. But when Marietta College hosts the 19th annual Space Camp, along with the Ohio State University Extension 4-H, from June 19-21, it will give 44 students an opportunity to experience space travel while staying grounded.


Organizers said the students are in grades six and eight and they will be performing science, physics, and astronomy experiments to promote an interest in space and science.


Several Marietta professors are involved in the camp including, Dr. Les Anderson, Dr. John Michel, Dr. Dennis Kuhl, Dr. Craig Howald, Dr. Debra Egolf, Dr. Kevin Pate and Dr. Cavendish McKay.


“We’d like to inspire some children to pursue careers in science and technology,” said Kuhl, Associate Professor of Physics. “Also, as a 4-H camp, the kids sometimes come from small, rural schools. It's a great experience for them to ‘come to college’ for three days. It can make college seem like an achievable goal for some, whereas it might not have been before.”


The students will be participating in small experiments of chemistry, physics, and astronomy in a hope to build some enthusiasm for science.


“We will be flying planes and rockets on computer simulations,” said camp director Vicki Schwartz of the OSU Extension. “We will be making hot air balloons out of tissue paper, bottle rockets out of 2-liter pop bottles, model rockets out of Estes kits, and we will be flying all of these vehicles.”


A guest speaker from the NASA Glenn Research Center will also be appearing to help campers better understand basic principles of flight and space life. Members of Marietta’s Chemistry and Physics departments will also be doing demonstrations of different basic principles.


Students will also observe the stars and planets from the observatory on top of Mills Hall and in the Anderson Hancock Planetarium.