Our aspiring astronauts journeyed to the Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning at Framingham State University. The McAuliffe Center was created in 1994 to honor the legacy of the first teacher in space and Framingham State University alumna, Christa McAuliffe, who was one of the seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy.
MAA students explored a room set-up like mission control for a space journey and another that modeled the inside of a spaceship. MAA’s sixth-graders did geology and biology experiments, monitored the weather, created robots and rovers to explore the surface of Mars, and more. They also undertook a mission to Mars with the students taking different jobs inside both the mission control and spaceship. They had to communicate with each other throughout the mission and, thanks to their quick thinking and teamwork, survived a close encounter with an asteroid! After finding water on Mars, they returned home safely!
In addition to their interactive lesson on what it takes to launch a space mission, students watched a planetarium show about how scientists photograph space. They even got to see recent images of Mars. Thank you to MAA’s Science teacher, Mrs. Maria Lyons, for organizing this trip, our sixth-grade teachers for helping facilitate it, and all of our parent volunteers who joined them. A big thank you to the staff at the Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning at Framingham State University.