The sky's the limit

Students study the Solar system

Rocket scientists? Maybe not yet, but students at East Elementary School in Craig are working on it.

Fourth-graders displayed leadership skills last week by designing projects centering around space and acting as tour guides for other grade levels.

"We want kids to learn that there is more out there than just stars," East Elementary fourth-grade teacher Brett Sperl said. There are three sections of fourth-grade classes at East Elementary.

Students worked on projects for three weeks to complete their dioramas (three-dimensional scenic designs built to model objects) and other space-orientated models to be put on display for the school.

"This is a great opportunity to get kids excited about learning," Principal Guy Gladden said.

Dioramas produced by the fourth-graders were the nine planets of the solar system. While many dioramas hung from the ceiling, in boxes or were built using Legos, one diorama was built complete with a sun. A flashlight at one end of the diorama was the sun as planets "revolved" around it in a display of colors and creativity. Much of the work was done at students' homes with the help of parents and Sperl is grateful for their support.

According to Sperl, students also studied space from a fictional standpoint to bring them into a part of class devoted to space travel. Students also learned of activities performed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

"We are teaching them that space exploration is alive and well," Sperl said.

Capping off the week-long festivities was a rocket launch Friday for all students to see. Six fourth-graders, Michael Crawford, John Ages, Robert Daniels, John Arias, Robbie Herring and Clark Cleverly, participated.

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