Tawa teacher blast­ing off to Space Camp


The July school hol­i­days will be a blast for Chris Moni­gatti be­cause he is jet­ting off to Space Camp.

The Tawa Col­lege sci­ence teacher has been se­lected to ac­com­pany five New Zealand stu­dents for a week­long camp in Huntsville, Alabama, at­tended by peo­ple from 35 coun­tries.

It is de­signed to pro­mote space sci­ence and ex­plo­ration, and ac­tiv­i­ties will in­clude au­then­tic as­tro­naut train­ing.

How­ever, it won’t be a gi­ant leap for self-con­fessed sci­ence geek Moni­gatti.

‘‘They con­tacted me, be­cause they knew I was heav­ily in­volved in as­tron­omy in the lo­cal scene, and asked if I could go. I was quite de­lighted.’’

He is a mem­ber of the Welling­ton Astro­nom­i­cal So­ci­ety and Royal Astro­nom­i­cal So­ci­ety of New Zealand.

Tawa Col­lege is also heav­ily in­volved in as­tron­omy, host­ing a Fri­day night club and a Royal Astro­nom­i­cal So­ci­ety ob­ser­va­tory is be­ing built on the col­lege grounds.

Space was a real pas­sion for Moni­gatti, but he was con­stantly up­skilling to keep up with his stu­dents.

‘‘Their in­ter­est has re­ally driven me to be­come a lot keener.’’

He is look­ing for­ward to shar­ing ideas with ‘‘kin­dred souls’’, and bring­ing back lots of ideas and re­sources for the class­room.

He re­mem­bered the moon land­ing in 1969 well, and hoped some­thing as sig­nif­i­cant hap­pened in space for this gen­er­a­tion.

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