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Former Astronaut Help Stockton Kids 'Reach For The Stars' At Summer Camp

Rich Ibarra / Capital Public Radio

Rich Ibarra / Capital Public Radio

Teacher Dax Del Prato has his 6th grade class dropping parachutes from a second floor classroom -- an experiment to teach students how to alter their descent. 

Eleven-year-old Isabella Cruz likes the lesson being taught. 

"Yes, a lot more fun than sitting in class," says Isabella.

Reach for the Stars summer camp is a partnership of University of the Pacific, Stockton Unified Schools, and Reach for the Stars which was founded by former U.S. astronaut Jose Hernandez. 

One hundred forty students are strengthening their skills in math and science in the 5-week camp. 

Hernandez says the class ranges from A students to at-risk kids. 

Every year, the camp takes 50 new students, taking them from 6th grade to the end of high school at no cost. 

"They're not only college bound because that's what's expected, but that they're very well prepared to take on the rigor of an engineering curriculum at any university," says Hernandez.

Jacob Hassan already is looking ahead to his future. 

"I want to be a game designer, create new games that nobody ever created like kid games maybe," says Jacob.

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