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The Madison Record

Satellites, Sci-Quest and speakers featured during Rainbow’s Space Week

‘Space’ was the word at Rainbow Elementary School for an entire week at the close of the school year.

“The objective of Space Week was for students to see the progression of the space program from the beginning days of aviation to the present and looking to the future,” second-grade teacher Mary Ann Lindsay said.

Younger students in kindergarten through second grade participated in a coloring contest. Third- through sixth-graders showed their creativity in a poster contest.

To realize the elements of flight, students entered a paper airplane contest with competition at the class, grade and schoolwide levels. “We also had rocket construction and a launch,” Lindsay said.

Michael Griffin, who served as NASA Administrator from 2005-2009, visited Rainbow and led question-and-answer sessions with all grade levels.

Overall, the Sci-Quest Roaming Dome was the favorite activity for the Rainbow students. The Roaming Dome is a traveling planetarium that Sci-Quest employees transport and operate at a remote site.

The dome accommodated up to 40 West Madison students at one time. The inflatable dome measures 12.5 feet and features digital presentations and movies (sci-quest.org/teachers-groups/traveling-science-programs/roaming-dome).

The dome’s shows include “Earth’s Wild Ride” with geological features, “Force Five” about hurricanes and tornadoes, “Saturn, the Ring World,” “Secret of the Cardboard Rocket” with a tour of the planets, “The Night Sky” for viewing nighttime stars, constellations and black holes and “Molecularium: Riding Snowflakes” about atoms and molecules.

Lindsay said Space Week benefited students in all areas of study — math, problem solving, reading, history and science. “All teachers were involved to some extent because of lesson content in individual rooms.”

“Our kids in all grade levels enjoyed Space Week,” Lindsay said. “Second-graders loved learning about the first man on the moon, especially when their teacher could relate personal experiences from the historical night.”

The Rainbow students in all grades will remember their “field trip” to the Sci-Quest Roaming Dome with a trip through the planets in space, Lindsay said.

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