Students moonwalk on latest fieldtrip

by Christine June
USAG Kaiserslautern Public Affairs

Kaiserslautern Elementary School fifth graders know what it feels like to walk on the moon, tumble in a space craft and spin so fast that when they stop their eyes are still moving.

Both fifth-grade classes at KES – about 45 students – now have these experiences thanks to their school’s field trip to the Euro Space Center in Transinne, Belgium.
“Its (a) real experience, not textbook learning,” said Jeff Grogg, one of the two KES fifth-grade teachers who accompanied the students on the field trip. “They got to experience what astronauts go through – some of the training they have to do before they ever go to space. We can’t do that in the classroom.”

Each students took turns on the moonwalk, multi-axis and rotating chairs as a way to experience what astronauts go through in space.

“They learn a lot of things and meanwhile, they have fun,” said Philippe Laborte, one of the tour guides at the Euro Space Center.

Besides going through some of the training astronauts do, the students also got to construct a micro rocket during a workshop in between the rotations through the simulations.

At the end of the tour, Mr. Laborte fired up each of the rockets to see which one would shoot out the farthest. No clear winner was determined on that day.

“It was fun. It was exciting. It was educational,” said Lisa Acuavera, who was one of the parent chaperones on the trip. Her son, Matthew, is in Mr. Grogg’s class.

Lexie Berrett, from Mr. Grogg’s fifth grade class, said her favorite part was the multi-axis chair, especially when her mom, Angie Berrett, took a turn and even solved a math problem using a calculator while spinning upside down.

“It was cool – I like it,” Lexie said.