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Tecumseh Elementary Launches Space-themed Summer School Program

Cosmic quiz competitions and rocket building lead the curriculum

student gets ready to hit the buzzer with his hand   student jumps on pump to launch homemade rocket   two students stand next to artwork outlining the big dipper constellation

Space is the place this summer at Tecumseh Elementary. The staff at the school met before the summer program began and decided upon a space-themed curriculum with school-wide events that are fun, engaging, and interactive.

For the “Are You Smarter than an Astronaut?” quiz competition, classes from the same grade met in the cafeteria and contestants from each class took turns hitting buzzers before answering questions about the cosmos. The team that accumulated the most points won.

Each grade spent time learning about the galaxy, famous astronauts, constellations, gravity, rockets, and the like at grade-appropriate levels, and then practiced the content Q&A style in class before the event.

To learn about flight, each class constructed their own rocket for the Rocket Blast Off! event. Rockets could be made from any material (paper, cardboard, empty bottles) and launched using any means. Classes used vinegar and baking soda, water and a bicycle pump, rubber bands, and stomping on a foot pump to project the rocket. The entire student body met outside to launch their creations into orbit.

The event was such asuccess that a second one is planned so that students can apply what they’ve learned to see if they can improve upon their original designs.

Also, all school hallways and bulletin boards are adorned with artwork and examples of class lessons and projects on any number of space-related topics.

“Summer themes are always exciting,” said Tecumseh Principal Kyle Valentine. “They are a great way to bring students and staff together, as well as teach material.”