A self-identified space enthusiast, Hogan Nance, 13, found himself over the moon at the chance to hold a memento from space at Midway Middle School on Tuesday.

“Space, I mean it’s just really cool that it’s what’s holding us all in,” Nance said. “It’s constantly expanding and giving us things to explore.”

To mark NASA’s 60th anniversary, Becky Winkler, a former NASA Explorer Schools educator and current Midway Middle School teacher, had a NASA exhibit of lunar rocks collected during an Apollo mission on display for an open house parent night Tuesday.

The moon rocks have been a big hit, in part, because students are rediscovering decades of revelations and advancements by the space program, Winkler said.

“Now the old has become new, because these kids haven’t seen this,” she said. “I look at them, and this is all new, whereas for me this has been my whole life.”

Winkler hopes the exhibit and other space-themed projects will inspire students to take a second look at a career in aerospace.

“It’s exciting,” she said. “I think we’re kind of doing a full circle back. We have new technology that’s allowing us to do much more than we did before.”

Lauren Dodd has covered education for the Tribune-Herald since May 2018. A native of Beaumont, Dodd attended Rhodes College and joined the Tribune-Herald in 2018. She previously worked as a reporter at the Seguin Gazette and the Killeen Daily Herald.

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