Students Get Inspired by Former Astronaut José Hernández During Hispanic Heritage Month Event
On September 22, 2022, NASA Johnson Space Center’s External Relations Office, in collaboration with NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement (OSTEM), the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, and Hispanic Employee Resource Group, provided a Hispanic Heritage Month experience to the Seabrook Intermediate science magnet students in Seabrook, Texas.
OSTEM’s Alicia Baturoni-Cortez guided nearly 60 students and teachers as they took part in a virtual connection featuring special guest and former astronaut José Hernández. This live event with Hernández was offered to teachers in NASA’s new community of practice for educators: CONNECTS. CONNECTS was created and is supported by NASA OSTEM’s Next Gen STEM project.
Growing up as a migrant worker, Hernández pursued his dream to fly in space after watching a broadcast of an Apollo moonwalk. After applying 12 times, he was accepted into the Astronaut Corps, along with educator astronaut Ricky Arnold. Hernández went on to be a part of the STS-128 Discovery crew that flew the 128th Space Shuttle Program mission and 30th mission to the International Space Station.
Students also received copies of First Woman, NASA’s Promise for Humanity (Issue No. 1: Dream to Reality), the graphic novel featuring the fictitious young Hispanic astronaut Callie Rodriquez, as well as Artemis I decals and other educational materials. The graphic novel is available online in Spanish, along with interactive experiences, including the First Woman app.
As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, the educators were provided with a Space Loteria (Space Bingo) set, which was developed by Johnson’s Hispanic Employee Resource Group. It’s a great resource to have or share with your networks. To download the Space Loteria set, visit https://www.txstate-epdc.net/epdc_posts/space-loteria/.