After School Students Helping to Save Our Dwindling Amphibian Neighbors to the South- The Kemp Ridley Sea Turtle—with CSTEM

More than 50 students attending the daily After School Program at the Hester House are participating in the CSTEM Challenge. The primary purpose of the challenge is to introduce students to Communications, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (CSTEM) in an accessible, kid-friendly way.

Our students are having a great time learning about Sea Turtles and the deadly environmental impact that human pollution has on their natural habitats. Hester House students will focus their research and work on the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, which is native to our own Gulf Coast.

The goal is to help our students to understand how human beings are natural communicators, scientist, technicians, engineers, and mathematicians. They will come away from the challenge feeling more confident with the ability to set long-term goals for themselves in the CSTEM areas and be motivated to achieve at a higher level in both math and science.

We kicked off the challenge with a module in which the kids created geometrically-influenced sculptures of the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle. They collected recyclable and reusable materials that many of us might just throw into the trash. They used the material to create their own masterpiece. We welcome you to stop by the Hester House to take a look at some of the amazing creations or to see what other interesting project we are working on.

Banner Year for Boy Scouts and Special Privileges at NASA

During the 2011 year, Julia C. Hester House began a collaborative partnership with the Boy Scouts of America to establish a new troop dedicated to the Fifth Ward community.  Troop 1943 was officially formed with a kick-off excursion to NASA Space Center  sponsored by Sigma Pi Phi Nu Boule’ business owner Percy Creuzot, III.

Mr. Creuzot, along with fellow Boule’ members, Henry Brown, Al Tervalon and Bill Easter, accompanied the group of Hester House boys as they toured the space center. The tour began at Rocket Park.  Then Mr. Christopher Kraft Jr. of Mission Control Centers provided an overview of both the International Space Station Flight Control Room and the Apollo Era Mission Operations Control Room.  Students were given a rare opportunity, to join NASA Astronaut Dr. Robert Satcher, Ph.D on a visit to the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. This is a restricted area rarely accessible to the public.  Next, students moved on to the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility to view the International Space Station Trainers, Multi -Purpose Crew Vehicle Development Mockup, Space Shuttle Trainer, Canadarm2 Trainer, and Russian Soyuz Trainer.  The day’s activities were capped off with a picnic lunch provided by the Boy Scouts.

Not to be outdone by the boys, on the following day, members of the Port City Links, Inc. accompanied a group of Hester House girls to Nasa’s Summer of Innovation Voyage Back to School.

Hester House girls had an opportunity to view student exhibits and speak with students who attended a special summer program at NASA. There were plenty of fun activities and a presentation made by Astronaut and Manager, William (Bill) S. McArthur from the Orbiter Project Office of the Space Shuttle Program.