Tonganoxie students attend space camp
Two Tonganoxie Elementary students recently attended space camp in Hutchinson.
Kevin Jardes and Shelby Fatherley, who will be fifth-graders at TES this fall, attended the three-day Mars Academy at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson.
Kevin is the son of Rob and Janet Jardes. Shelby is the daughter of Charles and Jennifer Fatherley.
The academy was designed to introduce space science to participants in an environment that emphasizes teamwork and problem solving.
Before planning and running a simulated robotic mission to Earth's nearest planetary neighbor, Mars Academy participants' first task was to understand the geology, climate, and conditions that exist on that planet. Students planted terrestrial seeds in simulated Martian soil, studied plate tectonics by erupting miniature volcanoes, and constructed a robotic Martian explorer. All participants underwent astronaut testing and each team created a Mars-bound hazardous mission patch before their simulated journey.
Mars Academy participants also learned about the history of the space program in the Cosmosphere's Hall of Space Museum, which houses one of the largest space artifact collections in the world. The museum features the actual Apollo 13 command module, Odyssey, and the largest collection of Russian space artifacts outside of Moscow.