An academy in Jamaica gives kids a 'galactic' look at the globe. NY1's Shannan Ferry explains.
Instructors at the Aerospace Academy are bringing the wonders of the solar system into a classroom in Queens.
"It's exciting because, I like learning fun things and doing fun things," said one student.
Over the last 18 years, the academy has taught about 20,000 students.
Participants are able to learn about how to guide a plane using a flight simulator and are also taught how to operate a robot.
"This is my first privilege of touching a real robot," said a second student.
"It just feels like you're actually flying an airplane, but you have to practice and get better, just because otherwise you're gonna be crashing to the ground most of the time," said a third.
The program is free and currently open to first through tenth graders.
The goal is to give kids a hands-on introduction to science, technology, engineering and math.
It all takes place at York College on Saturdays.
"Never in my life have I been to college, so this is my first time coming," said another student.
Students can also hop in a portable star lab, and feel like they're right next to the solar system.
"There are a lot of planets, and there are a lot of stars," said one participant.
Dr. Nazrul Khandaker is the director of the program. He told NY1 that the skills students learn at the academy can last a lifetime.
"They think about becoming astronaut, you know, becoming a pilot, through this we are introducing the basic components of the physics, mathematics, associated with a lot of principals," said Khandaker.
Organizers said they'll continue to inspire the next generation one student at a time and hopefully for years to come.