NASA Administrator visits UPRA’s Aerospace Laboratory
As part of a series of official visits, the administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and astronaut, Charles F. Bolden Jr., visited the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo’s (UPRA) Aerospace Education Laboratory, today Thursday 11 of December and offered an open talk to an audience of more than four hundred. The UPRA is the host of an important project that is par of NASA through the Puerto Rico Space Grant Consortium. This project is known as the Integrated Science Multi-use Laboratory (ISMuL) and includes the Aerospace Education Laboratory (AEL). AEL is the first and only laboratory of its class constructed outside the continental United States. This project was designed to improve the advancement of education in the fields of Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology by using a variety of strategies and a multidisciplinary approach to reach both the college and external communities. It is of such great importantce, that the NASA administrator placed the opportunity to visit and interact with participating students as one of his priorities for this trip. For the past fifteen years AEL has offered free services to UPRA professors and visiting middle and high school students from all over the island. This visit by Charles F. Bolden, Jr. generated great interest in both the college community as well as the public and private schools that arrived at the UPRA to attend this talk, and to also experience the various projects affiliated with ISMuL. Prompted by a student’s question, Bolden closed the talk by saying that “anyone can become an astronaut if the study hard, work hard, and never stop trying for fear of failing”. Bolden also recognized the labor of AEL and ISMuL and gave them a montage of photographs dedicated to their labor.