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Xtronaut Program Teaches Kids about Space Exploration

Bob Magnin, Director of Impact and Outreach Programs for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix explains what the summer programs have to offer. With clubs located in the areas of the city where services are limited for kids during out of school times, the organization serves youth ages 5 to 15. They offer social recreation activities, art projects, and academic success programs, as well as sports and fitness. They work with the whole child to insure the children are healthy and strong and have a strong sense of community and service to the community. They also want the children to have a strong awareness of the arts.


The Xtronaut program is tied to the academic success program and attached to a NASA space mission due to launch in September, travel to asteroids, collect samples and bring them back. The goal is to educate kids to what space exploration is all about, from the science side of it to the personnel side.

For Magnin, a neat part of the Xtronaut program is it is being brought to the center by a former club kid who grew up in the organization, Dr. Dante Lauretta. Dr. Lauretta is in charge of the NASA mission. Magnin says when Dr. Lauretta wanted to educate kids about space exploration; it was natural to bring it to the Boys & Girls Clubs.

Dr. Lauretta, Director of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Mission says he is excited to bring the Xtronaut program to the Metro Phoenix Boys & Girls Clubs because it is connects a real space mission that is being led right here in the state of Arizona, to fundamental STEM discipline. It is a great way for kids to learn about all the opportunities in the STEM fields.

The kids involved in the Xtronaut program and the activities of Boys and Girls Clubs enjoy the hands on activities and the chance to learn new things.

Magnin is grateful to Cox for the support in the area of technology. The new computer lab provided what was needed from hardware and software to staff training. He says the programs would not be possible without the support from Cox.