Lufkin Elementary Students Are Seeing the Planets In a New Way
When I was growing up in central Texas, I remember we would take field trips to downtown San Antonio to the area around Hemisfair Park. That area has changed quite a bit since then, but one of the coolest features was going inside a huge room and a projection video of our Milky Way Galaxy was shown on the massive ceiling of this room.
This was such a great teaching tool and now Lufkin ISD students are getting a taste of this (on a much smaller scale) with something called the Region 7 Mobile Planetarium. Thanks to this inflatable planetarium set up in a school gymnasium, elementary students from across the district have been experiencing or will experience outer space up close and personal in the dome that displays a video across the entire inflatable ceiling.
Several students said they want to become astronauts when they found out they were going to learn about planets. When the students climbed in and found a spot to sit on the floor they were looking up, pointing, and saying, "this is cool".
"The students are able to learn Earth Science that is vertically aligned with what they are learning in the classroom. Our 5th-grade students didn't get to experience 4th grade STEM day last year so I'm glad we could bring this to them," said Erin Kay, Director of Science and Social Studies.
She said the exhibit is quick and easy to set up and will be taken to each of the Elementary campuses throughout the week.
Christopher from Anderson Elementary said his favorite part was Saturn. He loved the rings.
"It looks cool in the dark," he said.
Another student, Taraji, said she learned a lot and liked Jupiter the best.
Mrs. Kay said that the school district was fortunate to be able to secure the exhibit through a cohort with Region 7.
"It is booked until May, and we were able to have it because there was a cancelation," said Mrs. Kay.