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Horizon classes blast off with Space Week

Published 10:38pm Monday, May 13, 2013

MADISON – Horizon Elementary School students are experiencing a planetarium, rockets and flying saucers during Space Week on May 13-17.

Space Week at Horizon promotes science education and space science, Beth Bero said. Bero has coordinated this annual event since 1996 as a parent volunteer, continuing the project since 2003 as Horizon’s enrichment specialist.

All week, the Roaming Dome traveling planetarium will show “the night sky and current events in the sky, like the upcoming conjunction between Venus and Jupiter,” Bero said. Lectures will be geared to each age group “and take into account the state curriculum standards for each grade.” Woodmen of the World Insurance Agency in Hartselle is loaning the planetarium.

On May 15, Horizon will be recognized as an official Alabama Outdoor Classroom School in a ceremony on campus. “We’ll be inviting Mayor Troy Trulock, Dr. Dee Fowler and other dignitaries to join us,” Bero said.

A model of the International Space Station will be on exhibit. Kindergartners will make film-canister rockets fueled by Alka-Seltzer. First-graders will convert Pringles canisters into constellation viewers. Paper-plate flying saucers will demonstrate trajectory science for second-graders. Third-graders will experiment with two-litter bottle rockets. Fourth-graders will compete in paper airplane contests.

During science classes, Horizon PTA volunteers will help students in preliminary tests of protection units for water balloons. Then on May 17, all ‘survivors’ will test at the Water Balloon Drop. A boom truck from Huntsville Utilities will drop the sixth-graders’ balloons to scrutinize their understanding of physical science principles.

“They love seeing their impact projects crash land from the height of a cherry picker,” Bero said. “Projects are tested by dropping from three feet and then six feet the day before. Only the best make it to the final round.”

Also on May 17, all grades will enjoy Field Day activities. The Huntsville Area Rocketry Association will conduct rocket launches as a grand finale to Space Week.

Special events will continue at Horizon on May 18 with the 2013 Queen’s Quest Chess Tournament.

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