VAMPY Campers Rocking Astronomy Challenges

From designing lunar stations, to designing our own golden record. These past couple weeks have been extremely busy here in our astronomy class. Madison Staton’s class aims to test our students’ critical thinking, problem solving, and group thinking skills. We have been developing these skills while also teaching our students about the solar system and the celestial bodies around us. We have dug deep into stellar evolution, theories about the origins of our universe, and the history and accomplishments of NASA.
We started out with generating a signature mission patch to represent our class. This patch consisted of many things our students and VAMPY stand for, such as eleven stars representing our eleven students, and special recognition to commemorate the 40th anniversary of VAMPY (we also couldn’t forget to add Big Red). Next, we learned about the science behind different types of telescopes and built our very own that our students can take home. On Thursday of last week, we took a trip down to Huntsville, Alabama to tour the space and rocket museum. Where we were guided around rocket hall by engineers and scientists who worked on the Apollo missions. Most recently we took our students to the aviation heritage museum in Bowling Green, where we launched our own rockets that we built, as well as learned about some of our Bowling Green natives that went on to be flight commanders and astronauts.
We plan on wrapping up camp by creating our own heat shields to protect our “egg-stronauts” from the temperatures that could be expected from a reentry into the atmosphere.  At the end of camp, we think it’s important that our students not only know what is going on outside of the bounds of our earth but be able to understand and explain the laws and forces behind what is out there. Our campers have rocked all of our challenges so far and I know they will keep it up until the very end!