Earlier this year I started up a Space Club for the students at the Sonoran Science Academy in Peoria, Arizona. Mentoring these kids has been a blast: they are curious, intelligent, enthusiastic, and silly — everything you want to see in a club that meets weekly on Friday afternoons (yes, Fridays!).
We only have one more club meeting before the end of the school year, and we’ve been invited to participate in the AZ STEM Expo this Saturday, May 10th, so we get to share our love of space with all of the attendees!
Some of our space club activities have included:
- Building Pop Can “Hero Engines” and learning about Newton’s Third Law of Motion
- Launching antacid-powered fizzy rockets
- Building and launching paper rockets with a stomp-powered launcher
- “Design Your Own Mission” – students chose a destination, designed a rocket and spacecraft, selected instrument sensors they would need based on what they were trying to find out about their destination, considered whether it would be manned or robotic and what supplies they needed to take, and presented their mission to the club
- Building paper scale models of spacecraft
- Watching video of NASA launches, a TED Talk, and Q&A with astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS)
- Sharing with the rest of the group:
Looking back at that list, we accomplished quite a lot in a few months!
I have to include a major “thank you” to Jennifer Cheesman, a local elementary school teacher and fellow “spacetweep”. She shared her supplies with us, enabling us to launch stomp rockets and fizzy rockets. We had a lot of fun!