Tonya Tours Alabama: 25th Anniversary of NASA's Space Camp

The idea took off 25 years ago with Dr. Wehrner von Braun, one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology in Germany.

In the United States he came up with the concept of giving children a place to go and learn about science and technology in a way that would stay with them for many years to come.

Al Whitaker works at the U.S Space and Rocket Center says, "He just had the idea, there's all sorts of camps programs for kids, we need a space camp, a science camp that will introduce youngsters to the various science diciplines at an early age."

And that camp is going strong. Thousands of children have been through here from all over the U.S. and the world.

It's like being an astronaut for a week. They train long and hard here so it's just like the real thing, only more fun.

The experiments and training are downsized to fit the youngsters' attention span, but still challenging enough for their vivid imaginations.

They do things here that will teach them life lessons, they'll make friends and they might even launch a career!

Whitaker cautions, "If we don't stimulate them at an early age and get them interested in the math and  science then we aren't going to have the pool of candidates that Boeing and Lockheed and Norththrupp Grumand need today and 10,15, 20 years down the road."

Turning 25 is a big deal for space camp and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center has planned a star-studded celebration for Wednesday, June 13th.

William Shatner of Star Trek fame will host the event where, among other things, they'll induct the very first class into the space camp hall of fame.

Whitaker says, "We accepted nominations through the end of March."

The formula works

Kids, science, technology and fun even if the children are deaf or hearing impaired.

No doubt von Braun is proud of what this program has become, one that opens up the world of science to young minds and instills lessons that are out of this world.

In the Rocket City, with Broadview Media, I'm Tonya Terry touring Alabama!