Waterbury Police Activities League (PAL) is partnering with Waterbury Public Schools and Geocaching.com to launch a new International Space Station program which will educate and bring awareness to school children about NASA and the International Space Station (ISS).
The program is being provided to children in 11 different Greater Waterbury schools including Chase Elementary School, Crosby High School, Rotella Interdistrict Magnet School, Walsh Elementary School, Polk Elementary School and Washington Elementary School.
Waterbury public school graduate and astronaut Rick Mastracchio is scheduled to launch to the ISS on November 6th and will be posting updates on his journey to his twitter account, @AstroRM.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime interactive educational opportunity that astronaut Rick Mastracchio is providing to the children of Greater Waterbury," said Waterbury PAL Vice President and Deputy Chief of Police Fernando Spagnolo. "Mastracchio is a role model and an inspiration to all public school children and serves as an example of what can be accomplished through hard work.”
Additionally, Mastracchio has agreed to take a Travel Bug® (trackable dog tag) along with 11 small hitchhiker tags to the ISS. Students will be able to track the Travel Bug from their classrooms on www.Geocaching.com.
Geocaching is an international, family-friendly, real-world adventure in which everyday-explorers use an app or a GPS to search for cleverly hidden containers called geocaches. Mastracchio will have pictures of the Travel Bug and messages posted throughout his journey on the Travel Bug web page. Students can view the Travel Bug page in their classrooms and at home with their families. Students can post pictures and messages about NASA and the ISS on the Travel Bug page, making this an interactive experience for them. To commemorate the experience, Mastracchio will be giving each of the 11 schools that participate one of the hitchhiker tags that he took to the ISS.
Geocaching Co-Founder Bryan Roth stated, “Geocaching delivers exploration, discovery and adventure to millions of people all over the world. Astronaut Rick Mastracchio’s voyage to space will take geocachers and school children a step further, heading to one of the most exclusive locations in existence, and sharing lessons with them each step of the way. The entire six-million-strong global geocaching community wishes astronaut Rick Mastracchio a safe journey and happy geocaching.”
Visit the Travel Bug page on Geocaching.com and follow along on this journey by clicking here.