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Space Foundation touches down in Elizabeth

Students and community members had their heads in the clouds (and beyond) with a day full of education activities provided by guests from Space Foundation in Colorado Springs.

Earlier this year, a group of educators and administrators toured Space Foundation's Discovery Center and also learned about opportunities for in-school, hands-on learning opportunities. That's what happened Dec. 6, with several Space Foundation staff members guiding large groups of students through a scientific learning projects throughout the day. After school, Space Foundation staff members met with teachers interested professional development opportunities, and as soon as the sun set, telescopes were set up on the EHS track to give community members the chance to stargaze.

Here's a recap of the many events, with photos from many photographers:

Running Creek/Singing Hills Ozobots project

Running Creek and Singing Hills Elementary students set up in the Elizabeth Middle School gym to learn how Ozobots work, then created their own programming for them. Ozobots use sensors to follow lines on paper and can read colors, so the elementary students used markers to create their own "code" to control the Ozobots' direction, speed and various movements.

  Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 

EMS and EHS Mars Missions

Separate sessions of Elizabeth Middle School and high school students took on problem-solving. The students had to think about landing people on the surface of Mars, which will require a space capsule to parachute to the surface. The challenge was to use coffee filters, paper, string and pipe cleaners to create the right kind of parachute system to land a Dixie cup filled with little, green Army men. The "astronauts" were dropped from a volleyball official's platform to the gym floor. If the "capsule" landed too hard or tipped over and the Army men spilled out, the student engineers had to go back to the drawing board. But if nobody spilled out, the mission was considered a success.

One group of middle schoolers devised their first landing craft in just a few minutes and succeeded in reaching the "surface of Mars," so Space Foundation staff sent them back with new orders: NASA had slashed their budget and they had to design the landing system with fewer resources. The middle schoolers succeeded then too. Even after another round of cuts, they still touched down safely.

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

  Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 

Stargazing

For the stargazing event, all the lights at EHS, even in the front parking lot, were turned off to have as little light pollution as possible. With unseasonably nice weather and a perfectly clear sky, nearly 40 people lined up to look through three high-powered telescopes at millions-of-years-old starlight and hear Space Foundation staff explain the science of astronomy.

Inside the high school, hot chocolate was served, and several activities were available for children to learn how to make air-powered, drinking-straw rockets and launch them across the brickyard. They could also practice running ball-shaped Sphero BOLT robots through a solar-system obstacle course by controlling them via iPads.

Thanks to Kimberly Runyan and Jessica Schmidt for taking and sharing photos.

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels

 Space Foundation staff came to Elizabeth to inspire science growth among students at all levels