Manitou Springs, Colo. -

It was quite the summer vacation for one Manitou Springs Elementary teacher.

She was selected for a NASA Space Academy Camp in Alabama to help teach her third graders in the fall.

"It was a lifetime opportunity," science teacher Carah Barbarick said.

She calls her summer adventure a lucky draw.

Barbarick applied for space camp at the Space Symposium at the Broadmoor last year. She won and she kicked off this year's summer vacation with five days of learning from NASA experts.

Barbarick believes her hands on experience serves as a priceless teaching opportunity for her students.

"Science is getting lost in state testing," Barbarick said. "To me to be able to find ways to integrate it into my classroom and to get kids excited about it, it's awesome."

The space camp included educators from 43 states and 27 countries and Carah had the distinct honor of being the only one chosen from Colorado.

She now returns to the classroom, eager to see those desks fill up with kids, bringing a message of hope back from camp for her future scientists.

"Space is open to them," Barbarick said. "They're the future of space. They're the ones that will be going to Mars. Science and math really open the doors for them. Let's build the foundation now. Let's learn what we can in third grade and you can be the one on Mars."