Rep. Terri Sewell brings NASA exhibit to Morris Elementary

Grayson Taylor asks the kids if they know what’s in the pouch he’s holding. “Ice cream?” offers up one kid in response. It’s green beans, but Taylor says that he wishes it was ice cream.

The students at Thelma Smiley Morris Elementary School come out of their school on Friday morning and are told to line up by their teachers. Some look at the astronaut suit waiting for them. Others are antsy and dancing in their line.

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Taylor is an events coordinator with NASA. He told the kids about how long astronauts stay on the station (six months) and asked about what they think each food is (“Some astronauts really love their mac and cheese”). He’s from the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The NASA Destination Station is an interactive NASA exhibit designed to get the public informed and excited about the International Space Station. U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell brought the exhibit to Montgomery.

The kids take photos with their teachers, who put their heads through an astronaut suit. Then, they’ll either walk into the structure or visit Taylor’s station.

Thelma Smiley Morris Elementary School Principal Denitta Easterling as NASA's Destination Station interactive exhibit visits Morris Elementary in Montgomery, Ala., on Friday May 13, 2022.

Inside the structure in the parking lot, kids line up against the wall. The carpeted walls and floor are dark blue. The screens inside talk about space exploration. The students line up against one side, some moving, others watching the video intently. They look at their friends.

At the end of the room, there’s a space rock for the kids to touch. The rock’s one of the only Apollo 17 moon rocks available to the public, according to the Thursday release.

NASA's Destination Station interactive exhibit visits Thelma Smiley Morris Elementary School in Montgomery, Ala., on Friday May 13, 2022.

As the kids walk out, they’re asked if they touched the rock

The kids at the school say that they’ve been interested in space before the event—they also say that they are planning to go to space.

First graders Casey and Bella answer questions in unison about their excitement about space. “Yes…” they both say when asked if they want to walk on the moon.

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