NEW HAVEN – New Haven Elementary School first grade students love school to the moon and back.
During a portion of their recent virtual field trip to outer space, the children got an up-close look at the moon, saw a sunrise from outer space and learned all about life of astronauts.
The experience, made possible by the Distance Learning program at the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation, connected them with Peter Robson of the Challenger Learning Center in Rochester.
Details of the hour-long videoconference included the launch of a 278-foot tall, 73-foot wide space shuttle that took off with 250,000 gallons of fuel and traveled 18,000 miles-per-hour to reach outer space in three minutes.
“That is super amazing!” one student shouted.
Short video clips allowed the youngsters to experience a tour of the earth as the shuttle went past the horn of Africa and they got a view of Lake Ontario from space.
Students also took turns selecting which topics to go over, including what astronauts eat, how they sleep, how they go to the bathroom, robots onboard, Hubble images and having fun, among several other sub-topics.
The children erupted in laughter when they were shown the toilet, which had feet straps.
They excitedly raised their hands when Robson asked if they wanted to be like Ironman and fly with a jet pack or travel to space when they are older.
Robson also told the students, as their jaws dropped, that their generation could be the first to step on Mars.
First grade teacher Alexandra Scorzelli said the videoconference paired perfectly with an upcoming first grade academic unit on astronomy, the study of outer space.