TJC science center to host STEM events celebrating 50th anniversary of Apollo moon landing

The Center for Earth & Space Science Education at Tyler Junior College has scheduled several events and STEM-related activities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

“The Apollo 11 moon landing was a historic event and momentous achievement for all mankind,” said Dr. Beau Hartweg, TJC science center director. “Perhaps its lasting legacy is how it inspired generations of schoolchildren to pursue STEM careers. We’re excited to continue in that tradition by partnering with so many wonderful people and organizations in the East Texas region to bring a fun-filled day of STEM activities to Tyler.”
 
TJC alumnus and former NASA engineer to speak July 13
TJC alumnus Charles R. Price will discuss his 50 years of service as a NASA engineer – including his work on the Apollo 11 mission – from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at the science center on the TJC main campus.
 
Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. Due to limited seating, reservations are recommended by going to sciencecenter.tjc.edu or calling 903-510-2312.
 
“We are honored and grateful that one of TJC’s own, Charles R. Price, was part of the team of NASA engineers who developed the flight path for the Apollo 8 and Apollo 11 missions,” Hartweg said. “We’re thrilled to welcome him back to TJC to share his story.”
 
Price will discuss his five decades as a NASA engineer, including his work as a trajectory specialist on the Apollo 8 and 11 missions, the successes and failures of the space shuttle program, discussion of Mars Rover missions, and missions to collect asteroid samples.
 
He worked for NASA from 1963 until 2015, including 39 years at Johnson Space Center in Houston and 11 years as a support contractor to the NASA IV and V Facility in Fairmont, West Virginia.
 
His duties included: Apollo moon mission orbital trajectories specialist; space shuttle flight navigation, guidance and control analyst; software manager for the space shuttle backup flight computer; avionics manager for orbital refueling flight experiment; and branch chief for flight robotics systems on the space shuttle and International Space Station.
 
A Tyler native, Price is a 1958 graduate of Tyler High School and a 1960 graduate of TJC, where he was awarded the TJC Hudnall Scholarship.
 
He earned his Bachelor of Science in physics and mathematics from East Texas State College in 1963 and his Master of Science in computer science from the University of Houston Clear Lake in 1984.
 
Moon Day activities set July 20
On Saturday, July 20, the day of the moon landing anniversary, the science center will host a full day of activities for all ages.
 
Events will be held throughout the center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
Programs in the Hudnall Planetarium will include moon-related dome shows and guest speakers, including a presentation from Project Stratoclipse and children’s book author Rachael Peters and her dog, Abbi.
 
A special Moon Academy for all ages will offer activities such as model rocket building and studies of constellations, moon, telescopes and ham radio operations.
 
Lunar University, geared toward advanced students and adults, will offer a study of lunar rocks, a video presentation on the Apollo trajectory by a NASA engineer, and a keynote discussion from “Moon Man” Ken Murphy.
 
Exhibitors will include: Tyler Civil Air Patrol, Discovery Science Place, Girl Scouts, Historic Aviation Memorial Museum, Hobbytown, Mathnasium, “Moon Man” Ken Murphy, Project Stratoclipse, Rachael Peters and Tyler Amateur Radio Club.
 
Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children, students and seniors. The first 250 guests will receive a commemorative Moon Day gift bag.
 
For more information, go to sciencecenter.tjc.edu or call 903-510-2312.
 

 

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