Paul Knox students attend space camp

Students from Paul Knox Middle School recently attended Pathfinder at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, NASA's official Visitor Information Center for Marshall Space Flight Center and the home of Space Camp and Aviation Challenge.The three-day educational program promotes science, technology, engineering and math, while training students and adults with hands-on activities and missions based on teamwork, leadership and decision-making.Paul Knox students were part of the Pathfinder Program, which is designed for elementary and middle school students who have a particular interest in science. The students spent their three days training with a team that flew a simulated space shuttle mission to the International Space Station. Once aboard the ISS, the crew participated in experiments and successfully completed an extra-vehicular activity, or space walk. Paul Knox trainees and crew returned to Earth in time to graduate with honors.Pathfinder crew trainers who lead each 16-member team must have at least a year of college and 67 percent of the 2011 staff are college graduates. Space Camp operates year-round in Huntsville, Ala., and uses astronaut training techniques to engage trainees in real-world applications of STEM subjects. Students sleep in quarters designed to resemble the ISS and train in simulators like those used by NASA.