SCHOOL: Ed V Baldwin Elementary
PROGRAM: Our Place in Space
I started this week off with a trip down south! Yes, south of Raleigh. Yep! Even south of Fayetteville. I traveled all the way down to Hope Mills, NC, where Ed V Baldwin Elementary School stands. As I surveyed the Google Maps satellite view of the school in search of good parking, a realization hit me–I’d been there before! All at once, I recalled the rainy morning that I had taught weather to the second graders there the previous year. This time around, I knew that I was going to the third grade, so I wondered if I might have some of the same students…
Sure enough, as I made my way toward my classroom (coincidentally in a section of the school referred to as “South Carolina” for its remoteness), I passed a number of students whose eyes lit up and who whispered, “I remember you from last year!” Some of them even started telling me their favorite experiments from last time! I was thrilled that they were ready to do more science, especially because today we were covering one of my favorite areas of science: astronomy! I had brought with me “Our Place in Space,” a program that teaches about the movement of our planet and the contents of our solar system, our galaxy, and far beyond. We talked about constellations and made glow-in-the-dark maps of our favorite kinds; we discussed how the movement of the cosmos is actually very useful for us, such as with developing calendars and keeping time, and we made sundials to do this out at home; and we imaged how astronauts ride rockets into outer space as we launched some water rockets of our own!
Now, when we (the Scientists) teach these programs, we always have some objectives to complete, such as keeping the experiments on track and covering all the information in the teaching standards. But every once in awhile, a class is so curious and asks such great questions that we get to break from the norm, and we can tell them about some really awesome things. That happened a lot today! Does your scientist remember why we don’t feel the earth moving, even though it’s rotating at over 1000 mph (hint: it’s like driving on the highway)? Or did you know that when you’re looking at the sun, you’re really looking 8 minutes into the past (hint: nothing’s faster than the speed of light!)? The universe is AMAZING, and we got a taste of that today.
All in all, it was a great start to the week, and I was happy to have spent it at Ed V Baldwin with third grade. I hope to see you again this year, or perhaps next year for fourth grade!
– Scientist Cameron