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Rockets fly, UFOs land during Space Week at Horizon

During Space Week, Von Braun Astronomical Society volunteer Stephen Patrick used a solar telescope to show the sun to students at Horizon Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)
During Space Week, Von Braun Astronomical Society volunteer Stephen Patrick used a solar telescope to show the sun to students at Horizon Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Rockets soared at lift-off and numerous guests made real-world connections with aerospace when Horizon Elementary School observed Space Week on April 27 through May 1.

“Space Week is a chance for parents to share their careers with the students and a chance for students to have fun learning about space and aerospace topics,” Horizon Gifted Specialist Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Bero said.

Bero and PTA volunteer Karen Purser coordinated the fun week at Horizon.

Guest speakers from NASA and local contractors spokes to classes. These visiting professionals included Marcia Cobun, Johnathan Carlson, Regan Malone, Marcus Skelley, Darren Thompson and Twila Schneider.

James and Carolyn Brelsford operated a mobile planetarium, which Woodmen of the World Insurance Agency provided.

“The PTA conducted fun activities with every grade level,” Bero said. “Kindergartners launched film canisters using Alka-Seltzer tablets. First-graders created their own constellations and launched straw rockets with their NASA speaker.”

Horizon’s second-graders created and flew Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs). Third-graders learned about variables in rocket propulsion with a Mentos and cola demonstration.

Fourth-grade classes built and held test flights for paper airplanes. “Fifth-graders built and flew water-bottle rockets,” Bero said. “Sixth-grade science teacher Amara Alexander had her students construct ‘fireproof’ wafers to protect an egg from the heat of a propane torch, simulating a heat shield for re-entry of a rocket to the atmosphere.”

Huntsville Area Rocketry Association (HARA) conducted a rocket launch. A camera mounted on the rocket captured lift-off and return to the Horizon grounds as students cheered excitedly. Volunteer Bill Cooke posted a video of the rocket launch at youtube.com/watch?v=3JeeKWysU2o.

Several students, including Twins Hayden and Gibson Purser and Sawyer Andrews, got in the spirit of Space Week and dressed as astronauts.

Two Von Braun Astronomical Society members shared their solar telescopes with the students during recess on two days. The astronomical society presented a “star party” on the evening of May 1 for students and parents to see the moon, Venus, Jupiter and deep-space objects.

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