H.L. Suverkrup Elementary School special education teacher Lisa Love got an out-of-this-world surprise Wednesday when a host of the TV show “Random Acts” greeted her in her classroom dressed in an astronaut’s jumpsuit.
Will Rubio, one of the hosts of the show, which executive producer Tom Morrill describes as “Candid Camera with heart,” was waiting there to surprise Love with a free trip to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s space camp in Huntsville, Alabama.
“When I walked in, I saw there was a guy sitting and he had a flight suit on,” said Love. “I was like, ‘OK, I know there’s not an astronaut in my room, but it sure looks like there’s an astronaut in my room.”
Love, who has wanted to go to space camp for some time and has been planning to apply for one of the scholarships that they provide to help people attend, said that she cried when she found out that she would be making the trip.
After getting there, Love will get to experience some exercises that real astronauts go through when training to travel into space. One such exercise is the “multi-axis trainer,” which straps riders in and spins them around in every direction, simulating the “tumble-spin” that astronauts experience upon re-entry into earth’s atmosphere.
Love said that what she’s most excited about, though, is “pretending to be an astronaut.”
And during the whole thing, the “Random Acts” camera crew will follow her, documenting the experience. The show airs on BYUtv on DISH Network.
Trish Valentin, H.L. Suverkrup’s principal, said that out of anyone, Love deserved the surprise, adding that “her dream has always been to go to space camp.”
According to Morrill, those who are surprised on “Random Acts” are nominated by those close to them, and Love was nominated by her teenage daughter Lizzy, who contacted the show in March of this year.
“The fact that somebody nominated her for this dream and the fact that she has the ability to live her dream, is really exciting,” said Valentin.
Though Love’s wish of attending space camp has only now been granted, she’s no stranger to the world of space travel.
Recently, the teacher got to attend a “NASA Social” event at the Kennedy Space Center near Orlando, Florida, where she got to witness a test of the Orion spacecraft’s “launch abort system.”
She has also been instrumental in bringing outer space into the classroom at H.L. Suverkrup. Last year, she wrote a letter to NASA that ended up netting students at the school a video call with astronauts on the International Space Station, where they were able to ask questions about what it’s like orbiting the earth.
And before that, she got kids at H.L. Suverkrup to enroll in a program where they got to have their names microscopically etched onto a silicon chip inside of a rover bound for Mars. “I think that, at least for the students that I’ve worked with, because so many of them had never really looked up at the stars at night and never had that experience, I started to develop this feeling like I just want to give them a reason to look up,” Love told the Yuma Sun in July. “I want to give them a reason to look up and dream.”