Space festival engages and educates kids and adults alike


Anette Baca

Pick-N-Learn. Innovative program that encourages student engagement.

Victoria Almaguer, Contributor

The El Paso Insights Museum hosted its annual Space Adventure Extravaganza” aimed at promoting science to the community Saturday, Oct. 5, at Sunland Park Mall.  

The event was part of the weeklong El Paso Space Festival, which hosted various events geared toward both adults and kids.  

Events such as Rocket Launch Day, Planetarium Show and SciFi Science Nerd Night were open to the public throughout the week.  

Every event featured space education activities, space art and prizes.  

With the help of more than 120 volunteers and about 30 different organizations, the El Paso Space Festival became a reality. 

“Insights is the one that calls everybody, invites everybody and books the events, but it could never happen without all of these different organizations that came together.” said Insights Executive Director Meghan Culley. 

After the Science Museum was demolished to make way for Southwest University Park, Insights was relocated to Alamo Elementary School which later became a mobile museum, allowing the community to enjoy hands-on activities with mobile exhibits.  

“It’s fun doing mobile education programs all throughout the community,” Culley saidWe don’t have a technical science center anymore, but we got to turn the mall into a science center and that was really fun.”  

With the mission to target younger age groups to become more interested in science and space, Insights offered multiple games and exhibits. The night ended with the use of the solar-powered telescope provided by Sun City Astronomers. 

“Anything educational is pretty awesome; we don’t get a lot of opportunities to get events such as this and I am just glad it was available for us,” said Anthony Chavira, who was celebrating his 5yearold sons birthday, Marcus Chavira, who aspires to one day be an astronaut. 

“I think it’s really important for small children to get their first glimpse outside of our planet and keep that interest in science and telescopes in general,” said Blayne Primozich, President of the Sun City Astronomers. 

Joining the 120 volunteers for this event were also UTEP engineer students Steven Aguilar, Oscar Valdez, Raul Castaneda, and Alberto Mesa, who participated in this event by being part of the SAE Formula 1T.  

“This really inspires kids and even adults to look up at the sky and be more interested in science and space exploration,” CastanedaUTEP senior studying mechanical engineering, said. 

“It raises awareness for the STEM programs,” Aguilar, a junior also studying mechanical engineering, saidInstead of trying to reach kids during high school, they are reaching out to kids at a younger age, widening the spectrum to them.”  

Insights had a successful turnout throughout the week, by selling out all their weekday activities and receiving a large audience Oct. 5. 

Victoria Almaguer may be reached at [email protected]edu.