COLOMBIA: Students from San Juan Bosco Salesian College visit NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center
(MissionNewswire) Twenty-two students from the San Juan Bosco Salesian College, located in Risaralda, Colombia, took an educational trip to NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The trip, which was held Nov. 28 to Dec. 4, aimed to foster students’ learning and knowledge.
The students take courses at the San Juan Bosco Salesian College’s Institute of Astrobiology of Colombia. During their NASA trip, they learned about and experienced a virtual simulation of walking on Mars, astronaut training and robot programming. They also visited the launch pad, the Saturn space rocket and the Atlantis shuttle.
The students were accompanied by physics Professor Erick Ortiz and chemistry Professor Daniel Martínez. Together, they are in charge of developing scientific projects that will strengthen the skills of Salesian students and bring awareness of their work to the broader community.
“Through this trip, Salesian students have an opportunity to see how what they are learning in the classroom is applied in the world,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesian education helps students, most of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds, gain the skills needed for employment, which allows them to give back to their families and community.”
The work of Salesian missionaries in Colombia is internationally recognized. Just over 34 percent of Colombians are living below the poverty line. Though Colombia is among the world’s emerging economies, more than three out of 10 Colombians still live in poor conditions. Colombia is also the world’s seventh most inequitable country.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Colombia has 7.4 million citizens displaced because of ongoing violence in the country. The displacement is mainly caused by ongoing clashes between the military, leftist guerrilla groups and right-wing paramilitary successor groups.
One in five children in the country has no access to education. Many orphaned youth live in poverty and have lost their parents to natural disasters, the HIV/AIDS epidemic and other diseases, war or domestic issues. Some children remain living with a single parent, struggling to survive, and are often pulled out of school to earn income for the remaining family. Other youth live in shelters or on the streets.
By providing education, workforce development services and social programs across Colombia, Salesian Missions helps to give poor youth hope for a better life.
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Salesian Missions – Colombia
World Bank – Colombia