Our Fourth Grade had a fantastic trip to Kennedy Space Center. To prepare for the trip, students spent many weeks reading, writing, and learning about planets, patterns of Earth, moon phases, and space travel. Students also learned about Ilan Ramon and how he brought his connections to Judaism and Israel into space with him. He kept kosher and Shabbat in the spacecraft. He brought a Sefer Torah that survived the Holocaust, a picture of the Earth drawn by a boy in the Terezin death camp, and a kiddush cup.
We had an action packed day. First we explored the Rocket Garden and were able to go inside replica space capsules. Then we attended a hands on educational program where we learned about the future of NASA and were able to participate in activities like building space rovers, using an electronic microscope, working with circuit kits, and trying to build things using space suit gloves. After the classroom activity, we went to the astronaut memorial. We reflected and said tehilim for Ilan Ramon. Then we went to the Space Shuttle building where we learned about the Space Shuttle program. We were able to crawl through tubes like they use on the International Space Station and went down the sonic boom slide. Next, we went on a shuttle launch simulator and also took a bus to the Saturn V/Apollo Moon Landing Center. On the drive, we got a peak behind the scenes at NASA and the enormous Vehicle Assembly Building. We saw an actual Saturn V rocket and touched a piece of moon rock. Our learning came alive for us on our trip!