This fall, Draper Aden Associates sponsored a child from the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind to attend Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, this special Space Camp for Interested Visually-Impaired Students (SCIVIS) offers visually-impaired children the chance to experience all activities at Space Camp from mission-simulation to zip lines to learning how a space shuttle works. Certified chaperones assist the traditional Space Camp counselors in teaching visually impaired campers, and adaptations like large print or braille materials are available, but the experience of Space Camp is the same for any child who attends: real-life simulation of space exploration.
Hunter Johnson, a student at Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, participated in the Aviation Challenge, a military-style program that simulates combat scenarios, teaches basic survival skills, and includes flight simulation practices for take-off and landings, navigation, and teamwork. Hunter’s favorite experience at space camp was climbing the 32-foot Pamper Pole, an element on the rope course that participants climbed, then balanced on top, and jumped off. During the flight simulation, he was a RIO (pilot’s assistant) who helped guide the pilot to land on the runway.
On the final night of the camp at the SCIVIS awards ceremony, Hunter was awarded the highest award for embracing the spirit of the camp and performing all duties and assignments while maintaining the respect of his teammates and counselors. Congratulations to Hunter for not only participating in Space Camp, but also for doing so with enthusiasm and the spirit of discovery!