Stockton, CA / Bilingual Weekly
The Jose Hernandez Science Blast 2010 at the University of the Pacific included an actual blast, loud and clear, that could be heard well beyond the campus.
The blast —a controlled spacecraft solid fuel explosion— was conducted by specialists outside the Pacific’s DeRosa University Center on Saturday, October 23, 2010, while inside hundreds of schoolchildren spend hours trying their hands at science activities, hear guest lectures, and see rocks from outer space.
Also inside, attendees got to hear two NASA astronauts — local Stockton Jose Hernandez and Virginia’s Robert Satcher— talk about their trips outside of the Earth’s atmosphere and how their study of science helped them reach their goals. Featured exhibits included rocks from the Moon and Mars, displayed by NASA and a portable planetarium. Additionally, Hernandez signed autographs.
Hernandez, a 1985 graduate of Pacific and a member of Pacific’s Board of Regents, was a crew member on a shuttle mission to the International Space Station last year.
The science weekend actually started on Friday, October 22th at Delta College, when approximately 450 fifth graders from area schools spent the day on a private event, doing hands-on activities, meeting astronauts and learning about how science is used in different professions.
The weekend event was organized by Hernandez’s Reaching for the Stars Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to increasing science, technology, engineering and math education in the classroom. It was co-sponsored by numerous educational organizations, including Pacific, San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton Unified School District and the San Joaquin County Office of Education.