Students “Wowed” During Onizuka Space Science Day

Despite a wet morning at El Camino College in Torrance, Calif., the rain and cloudy weather couldn’t eclipse the excitement of nearly 1,000 explorers seeking mystery, adventure and scientific discovery at the 2018 Onizuka Space Science Day. And there was much to be excited about at this year’s event, like using household items to extract DNA from strawberries or launching a paper rocket 35 feet into the air with the help of an Air Force lieutenant and a homemade rocket launcher.

Since the inception of Onizuka Space Science Day 31 years ago, Honda, in partnership with NASA, El Camino College and the Onizuka Memorial Committee, has brought hundreds of science experiments, and dozens of presentations by real life astronauts, to the fingertips of boys and girls grades 5-12. The annual event aims to make science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fun and attainable.

Honda Community Action Team volunteers registered students, led them to their classes and assisted with classroom activities. El Camino College students embraced the opportunity to “wow” youngsters with chemical reactions and electricity. The highlight of the day was a lecture and Q&A session facilitated by Astronaut R. Shane Kimbrough, who shared the excitement of the space exploration and urged students to do their very best in order to fulfill their goals and dreams.

“Honda is proud to partner with El Camino College, and the Onizuka Memorial Committee in supporting Ellison Onizuka’s dream of inspiring future generations,” said Steve Morikawa, American Honda vice president, Corporate Relations and Social Responsibility. “Space Science Day takes STEM concepts out of the classroom and puts them into students’ hands in fun, interesting ways.”

Onizuka Space Science Day honors the life and memory of Astronaut Ellison Onizuka, who perished with six fellow crew members aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger on Jan. 28, 1986, and his dream of inspiring the youth of America to achieve their career goals.

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