SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — Bayview-Hunters Point students and their families will be able to learn about space and talk to astronauts during Sunday’s NASA-hosted science festival in San Francisco.

The 10th annual Reachout for the Rainbow After School Science
Festival is a free family event at the Bayview Opera House at 4705 Third St.

The event starts at noon.

With NASA more active in this year’s festival, event coordinator Virgie Patterson-Newman expects almost 900 attendees. In past years, 300 students and their parents attended, she said.

“This is huge,” Patterson-Newman said. “The community is quite honored.”

San Francisco police will close the area around Third and Oakdale streets to accommodate the large crowds.

Opening ceremonies include visits from state Sen. Leland Yee, San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen, San Francisco Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Cynthia Gray and an appearance via Skype by former astronaut and NASA Associate Administrator for Education Leland Melvin.

As part of Black History Month celebrations, students will sing in a choir and perform spoken word throughout the event. The Museum of African American Technology will also have a booth.

The Traveling Space Museum will display a “very popular” space toilet and infrared camera exhibit, Ames Research Center spokeswoman Cathy Weselby said.

If the weather holds up, students will ride in a hovercraft, launch stomp rockets and remotely operate a lunar rover on simulated lunar dirt.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report)


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