Ready for liftoff: AES students attend camp

Published 2:47 am Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Andalusia Elementary School Talented and Gifted (TAG) students had the opportunity to spend three days at Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville last week.

AES TAG teacher Barbara Peek said that Space Camp has got to be the closest thing to the perfect balance of learning and fun.

“It incorporates so many of the things I emphasize in class: teamwork, creativity, risk taking, patience, self-discipline,” Peek said. “It also exposes the kids to so many different career prospects. And one of the other things I try to teach is pride in our state and its history. Huntsville played a huge part in the history of the U.S. Space program. Our kids should know that.”

AES student John Robert Mixson not only learned about outer space, but about the history of the U.S. Space program.

“We got to learn about the space race between the Soviet Union and America,” Mixson said. “The Soviet Union was ahead in the race the entire time, until the Americans went to the moon.”

Levi Wilburn was most interested by the space suit that he got to try on.

“We got to learn about how astronauts use the bathroom,” Wilburn said. “I didn’t know that it was so complicated.”

Crews Cotton’s favorite part of the trip was being able to feel the effects of microgravity.

“We got to sit in the five degrees of freedom chair,” Cotton said. “When you sit in it, you get to feel the effects of microgravity.”

The group got to participate in a simulation of a space mission to the moon. Mia Baumgartner said that it was challenging, but they were able to get through it.

“It was a new space mission this year,” Baumgartner said. “It was extremely difficult, but we all went with the flow and tried not to panic.”