Young Astronaut Council
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The Young Astronaut Council was established by the White House in 1984 in an effort to promote greater proficiency and interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) using the popularity of space as the underlying theme. This Presidential initiative was accomplished via their Young Astronaut Program, a free weekly television series seen in tens of thousands of classrooms across the country and around the world. During its tenure (1984-2004) over 2 million children registered with the program and became cadets and over 100,000 chapters were formed across the country and the world. Chapters operated independently in ways that best suited their individual grade levels and circumstances and were established in schools, libraries, museums, science centers, and among home school groups. Individual memberships were also available for those who did not have access to a chapter. Grade level lesson plans were written and provided by NASA to all. After 9/11 the Young Astronaut Council went on hiatus and eventually government priorities resulted in its closing of the program.
Space is once again the new frontier and STEM education has become a national need. Accordingly, The Young Astronaut Council has been re-opened by aerospace author Nelson Louis Olivo and is set to re-launch its elementary school Young Astronaut Program in September, 2018. Program goals encompass once again airing the first free televised space academy for kids on FiOS, Spectrum, RCN, Optimum; a Young Astronaut Day where the cadets can gather and meet to foster camaraderie and an international young astronaut exchange where cadets can visit other countries and learn about their space programs. Grade level lesson plans are once again written and provided by NASA. The Young Astronaut Program: “The First Televised Space Academy for Kids!”- a space-themed pre-after-school enrichment activity-will introduce our children to the skills needed to compete in the 21st century STEM economy and will be available to all of NYC's elementary schools, libraries, museums and children's hospitals.