Learning about rocket science

Published 12:05 am Saturday, February 19, 2011

Branyon Clark, commander, and Will Clark, pilot, pause before starting the day’s mission.

For 16 students in Andalusia Elementary School’s Talented and Gifted (TAG) program, a recent trip to the Huntsville Space Camp was, well, a blast.

“I’m not quite ready to take the shuttle up, but…. it was a great adventure,” said Olivia Amerson, or as she was known to her trip mates, mission specialist No. 1.

TAG teacher Cathy Powell said this was her fourth trip to the center where students had the opportunity to lead space missions, learn about science and math and experience what it’s like in outer space.

“The whole three-day trip was a huge exercise in learning,” Powell said. “Students got to compete using their math, science and problem solving skills. I think everyone had a great time.”

Powell said 10 parents accompanied the students on the trip, and AMS students also took home top honors in the “Space Bowl,” a Jeopardy-like game where students answer questions about what they learned at camp.

Will Clark said the trip was “awesome.”

“It was so challenging,” he said. “We had to work as a team, which is hard.”

Cost of the trip was $325, and students were required to pay their own way.

For Hannah Bulger, the most exciting part of the trip was the simulator.

“They strapped you in, spun you around – it was just like a roller coaster,” she said. “It was great.”