The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing is this Saturday, July 20, 2019.
To celebrate the history-making event, a group of teens in Spanish Fort has built a model of the lunar capsule, which is now on display. This year’s literary theme for libraries across the county is, “A Universe of Stories” with the focus being on Apollo 11.
Four teens from Spanish Fort High School spearheaded the project. All are members of the library’s Teen Advisory Group (TAG). The group meets every Tuesday and has been working on their model of Apollo 11 every week since January.
“The biggest challenge was getting this thing together,” said Cassidy Young. “Not like the whole thing but making sure it didn’t fall apart because on the way down the stairs the legs would get caught and we had to find a way for it to stick together.”
It took the four team members more than six months to finish the model and there were some hiccups along the way. The end-result though, is something that everyone can be proud of. Made primarily of cardboard, chicken wire and duct tape…yes, lots of duct tape, their final rendition of the lunar capsule may not be exact, but they made the best of it.
“When we first started this I thought, ‘No, this isn’t going to work. It’s just going to look like it’s a big mess of sloppy angles and trash.’ But seeing it just like this, it does not look like the original model, but then we kept telling ourselves, ‘It’s not going to space. It’s not leaving the building,’” said James Clemmons.
The original base of their model had to be scratched in the beginning and the group managed to work other small flaws into the design. An example of that is the expanded foam filling, which seeped out through some cracks. Adding a few plastic eyeballs created a fun, alien element to the spaceship. Creating a learning experience through exploration and innovation made it a fun project for all involved.
“I had the idea to put googly eyes on it and we kind of ran with it,” explained Katherine Clemmons. “We made a sign saying, ‘Caution – Bio-hazard’ and just putting our own take on the Apollo Moon Landing.”
“I hope that when kids come in here and see this that they…they don’t just think of space as something that’s out of reach,” Ethan Cress said. “It’s just around the corner. It just depends on how you look at it.”
The Spanish Fort Library will be live streaming NASA’s video of the Apollo 11 landing Saturday morning starting around 10:00. You’re invited to come watch and see the model for yourself. You can also stop by each Tuesday for the Summer Reading Program. Tuesday, July 23, 2019 will be a special presentation by the Alabama Blues Project.