Horizon students drop, blast and explore during Space Week
MADISON – Space Week always demands special attention at Horizon Elementary School, considering NASA is in its own backyard.
Space Week opened on April 14 with the entire Horizon population assembling to hear NASA employees Twila Schneider and Tim Owen. “They spoke to students about the new SLS rocket and the difficulties that we face in trying to send humans to Mars,” Beth Bero said.
Bero, Horizon’s enrichment specialist, coordinated Space Week.
Robert Bijvoet and Robin Scott represented HAL5 (Huntsville, Alabama L5), the National Space Society’s local chapter. They spoke about the International Space Station (ISS) and brought an ISS game.
Students from Bob Jones High School’s Engineering For Tomorrow (E4T) Academy prepared hands-on experiments for grades 4-6. “The Horizon group I worked with were the most respectful and attentive kids we had worked with to-date,” engineering student Olivia Zuvanich said.
Woodman of the World Insurance Agency loaned a portable planetarium. “Planetarium shows touched on current night-sky stars and planets and a lunar eclipse, along with course-of-study items including star magnitude, light year and extra-solar planets,” Bero said.
Marshall Space Flight Center allowed a courier to bring moon rocks for Horizon’s first- through third-graders to examine. NASA employee and Horizon parent Kathy Henkel presented facts to students, second-grade teacher Molly Wright said.
Horizon sixth-graders made protection casings for water balloons. Designs that survived preliminary rounds advanced to the final round of testing at the “Water Balloon Drop.” Firefighters in a ladder truck from Madison Fire and Rescue Department dropped the sixth-graders’ balloons to determine which entries passed the test.
A major highlight for Space Week, Vince Huegele and Huntsville Area Rocketry Association members coordinated a rocket launch on the Horizon soccer field. “They launched low rockets in a stiff breeze to the delight of all,” Bero said.
“Horizon students learn so much about space during Space Week,” Bero said. “For our community, it’s a combination of ‘career week’ and ‘space.’ We greatly appreciate the support of the community in helping us put on this special event each year.”