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    Community Invited to Explore Science, Space

    Sep 28, 2010

    The community is invited to explore science and space at the Community Day Science Blast, a free event being held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Don and Karen DeRosa University Center at University of the Pacific.

    Several NASA astronauts, including local Stockton Jose Hernandez, will speak, and the public will get a chance to try hands-on science activities, hear guest lectures, and see rocks from outer space. The event is organized by Hernandez's Reaching for the Stars Foundation, an organization devoted to increasing science, technology, engineering and math education in the classroom. It's co-sponsored by numerous educational organizations, including Pacific, San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton Unified School District and the San Joaquin County Office of Education.

    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.

    "Children can't just learn science and math in the classroom, but must also be shown how it surrounds us everyday and makes our society possible," said Oscar A. Anzaldo, board president for the Reaching for the Stars Foundation. "We hope this event will stir the imagination of the children about math and science and still be a fun day for the entire family."

    During the Saturday event, visitors will get a chance to hear NASA astronauts talk about their trips outside of the Earth's atmosphere and how their study of science helped them reach their goals. Featured exhibits include rocks from the Moon and Mars that will be displayed by NASA and a portable planetarium. Additionally, Hernandez will be available to sign autographs and there will be live entertainment.

    The event will actually start on Friday, Oct. 22 at Delta College, when approximately 450 fifth graders from area schools will spend the day doing hands-on activities, meeting astronauts and learning about how science is used in different professions. The Friday event is by invitation only and is not open to the public. Saturday's event at Pacific is open to the public.

    For more information about the Reaching for the Stars Foundation or the Community Day Science Blast, visit http://www.astrojh.com/.