LOWELL | Teacher Mary Ann Sytsma received a grant this past school year from the Tri-Creek Education Foundation for all Lake Prairie Elementary School fifth-graders to “Rendezvous with a Comet.”
The grant helped fund attendance and participation in a simulated space mission at the Challenger Learning Center on the Purdue University Calumet campus in Hammond.
Students spent several weeks learning and practicing the many tasks they would be responsible for while on the space mission. They focused on following directions, sequencing, problem solving, listening skills, task analysis, and working cooperatively as a team, all tasks necessary for a successful space mission.
Some students were on Earth in Mission Control, while others were in a maneuverable space station.
Upon returning from their rendezvous with Comet Encke, students sent thank you letters to the foundation. “Being at the Challenger Learning Center was the best field trip I ever had,” wrote one enthusiastic astronaut.
“You have to read the rules, work the computers, work with your team, and know your science,” explained another fifth-grader.
The Tri-Creek Education Foundation Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to encourage community philanthropy in order to promote and fund excellence and innovation in education for all school-age children residing within Eagle Creek, Cedar Creek and West Creek townships. Tax deductible contribution helps to fund projects like space missiojn field trip, and may be mailed to: 195 W. Oakley Ave., Lowell, IN 46356.