What a way to begin our week!  The NASA field trip to Lake Ridge Academy on Monday was wonderful.  The students learned a lot about NASA projects and the tools they use in space. There were four stations set up for  students to explore using astronaut tools.    In the first area, the students compared their weight on Earth to what it would be like on another planet.   Another station had both real and model space suits.  The first flight suit was the type worn by Alan Shepard and John Glen.  It was primarily a pressure suit.  The second suit was an actual suit worn on the moon missions. The orange suit on display is the type astronauts wear during take off and landing. The fourth suit is a prototype of a new type for longer space missions.  NASA provided a trailer in which they set up a variety of stations where children could manipulate materials under similar conditions to those in space. There was a landing simulator where we had the opportunity to land the Mars Curiosity Land Rover, our students discovered it is tricky business.   We also learned how developments at NASA have helped us at home, school, and other day-to-day life. A simple, self-guided task demonstrated gravitational pulls of four different planets. Many of the exhibits focused on the successes of Mars exploration.  A huge panoramic, 3-D photograph of Mars clearly showed the uneven, rocky, hilly nature of the red planet. We 3-D glasses to look at the  photo of Mars. Do you know why Mars is red?  We learned that Mars has a concentration of iron and when iron rusts it turns red!

We ended our visit with a question and answer session with Greg “Box” Johnson, an astronaut who flew on the last space shuttle Endeavor mission!  Complimenting his talk he had an awesome slide presentation of Endeavor’s flight to the space station and return to earth. Fun facts:  the space station is three stories high and  is as long as a football field.  There is a big tube that runs the length of the space station.  Just for fun, the astronauts propel themselves the entire length, floating along.  We learned that the space station and can be seen from Earth. It is the brightest object in the sky.

Most importantly, Greg Johnson shared his enthusiasm for what he does.  He loves science and math and truly loves space exploration.  His message was focused on the youngest students in the audience, our first graders!  Our children can be the ones to actually travel to Mars!  NASA is working towards that goal!  Some of our children just might follow in Greg Johnson’s footsteps!

In science the students finished making their food pyramids. Healthy foods are only part of what keeps us healthy, we learned that exercising  is just as important as eating healthy foods. We are now learning about the bones of the body.

In anticipation for our Halloween party on Friday, all week the students have been working on making decorations for our classroom. We made ghosts and pumpkins using construction paper, crayons, and stickers. We made skeletons by gluing together Q-tips and then students made bats and pumpkins out of pipe cleaners. The students are very excited for the Halloween party on Friday. They can’t wait to see everyone’s costumes!

Looking Ahead
• Kindergarten field trip on Monday October 29th

Have a great weekend!