gwa_logo

whitehouse-seal

It was a very cold night looking at the stars on the White House front lawn. On Monday, October 19th, 2015, the First Star Greater Washington Academy was thrilled that 10 of our students were invited through DC CFSA to the White House!  The President welcomed everyone for an evening of learning and space exploration as part of his advocacy for STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).  A couple of our students were honored to shake President Obama’s hand and exchange greetings after his speech.  A life event that will never be forgotten.

Obama-Whitehouse

moon

The Director of NASA, the first black woman to go into space, as well as, many other astronauts and NASA employees were there to lead small groups spread around the lawn at 15 stations to teach everyone about the universe.  As we traveled around we learned about space weather, how to build our own satellite, took a virtual tour through the galaxy visiting the surface of each planet, looked through multiple telescopes fixed on the moon and others stars, and much, much more.

TV celebrity Bill Nye the Science Guy (Bill, Bill, Bill) and Myth buster hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman participated in a Q&A after everyone rotated through the stations.  Inquisitive minds of all ages asked questions and some very witty responses resulted.  Everyone was frozen to the bone in the 20 degree weather but you wouldn’t know it by the engagement of the crowd and laughter throughout.

brian-nye-damian

whitehouse-astronomy-group

It was a rare invitation to have science lessons taught by some of the best minds in the country on the lawn of the White House.  Everyone left with a goody bag of NASA swag and an exciting story to tell everyone the next day.  We even made it on the official white house Instagram page!

With amazement and gratitude,
Brian Ritchey
Program Director