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NASA has a lot to offer offer

This week, I had the opportunity to visit NASA to attend a press conference with the newly elected administrator, Jim Bridenstine.

Ever since I was a child, NASA and space exploration has fascinated me. Maybe it was growing up with a family obsessed with Star Trek and Star Wars, but whatever it was, space has always held a special place in my heart. That’s why on Tuesday, when I was told I would have the opportunity to not only meet the administrator but ask him a question as well, I was ecstatic.

While I listened to him speak about NASA and its various programs, my childish, starry-eyed daydreams about planets and quasars slowly drifted around in my mind. Instead of talking about deep-space technology, Bridenstine brought up facts about day-to-day life. He talked about how NASA’s technology has shaped the way humans communicate with each other. Cellphones, computers and the Internet all rely on technology that would likely not be in existence without NASA. Plus, Bridenstine brought up the fact that NASA’s technology helps scientists predict the weather, helps relief agencies respond to natural disasters and helps the military stay aware of what is happening around the world to ensure our nation’s safety.

I never realized it before, but NASA has so much more to offer than what meets the eye.

When it came my turn to ask him a question, I was ready. My question was simple – “how do you plan to inspire interest in NASA and STEM subjects among the nation’s youth?”

Bridenstine smiled and said that they already did. No other agency has the power to inspire children and encourage them to reach for the stars, he said.

His answer was simple, but true. NASA not only inspires dreams, but its technology helps fulfill them. While I never realized it before, Tuesday’s experience helped me to see how much NASA has to offer.