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Nickelodeon to select 5 Indian kids to attend NASAs space camp
Mumbai | Saturday, Feb 5 2011 IST
 
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Five lucky Indian kids will join 25 of their peers from across the globe for the 10-day NASA space camp at the Kennedy Space Centre in April. The children will indulge themselves in realistic training like putting on space suits, experiencing weightlessness, creating their rockets and undertaking a space mission (complete with an emergency situation). Part of kids channel Nickelodeons annual Career Series drive -- the Young Astronaut Programme, the channels online questionnaire asked kids their career choice. In which, a significant 44 per cent opted to be an astronaut instead of other careers like a chef, doctor, lawyer and an artist.

''Kids today have more opportunities, and we were surprised at the overwhelming and varied response we got for wanting to be an astronaut. The reasons included the desire to look for aliens, love of flying, the courage to go into space and to make discoveries like Johannes Kepler,'' Nickelodeon (India), senior vice-president and general manager, Nina Elavia Jaipuria, told UNI today.

The channels endeavour is to introduce new career opportunities to kids and generate awareness among them and their parents. While not all will end up walking in space, many might be part of a space programme that requires hundreds of brilliant minds to support space missions. The channel will pay for the selected childrens trip to the space camp, she added.

The response from parents has also been overwhelming. Children get very excited when they make the connections themselves. Parents are also more open now to let their children spread their wings, said Hattrick Edventures (HTEV), Asha Sundarajan, a certified NASA educator, who has counseled the kids. The channel has also introduced a special two-day astronomy event for kids to experience the wonders of space by arranging a mobile planetarium -- Discovery Domes -- specially arranged from Houston, US at south Mumbais Phoenix Mills. The mobile domes can be folded up and set up even at remote place. Currently, there are 110 domes in 27 countries, including seven in India. Five more are being considered for India.

''So much of our lives are built around technology today. We can only imagine what our children of today are going to experience. They are the ones to go to the moon. Kids in the US too are excited about space, but a lot of them are afraid of technology, unlike Indian kids,'' pointed out Discovery Dome founder, Dr Patricia H Reiff.

-- (UNI) -- 05BY15.xml

 

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