Kids check out space

Family center holds 4-H STEM?camp

CORTLAND — Children learning about outer space and the solar system took turns jumping on the ends of small pipes to launch their bottle rockets.

The activity was part of the finale of a day filled with hands-on science learning at the Trumbull County 4H STEM Days held at the Trumbull County Agriculture and Family Education Center.

Ashlee Dietz, extension educator 4-H Youth Development, said the STEM Camp — with one day for kindergarten to second-grade students and the second say for third- to fifth-graders — had students taking part in various hands-on activities utilizing science, technology, engineering and math skills.

The 31 children made bottle rockets, which they launched on the lawn.

“Every year is a different theme, with this year ‘STEM Days are Out of This World.’ All the activities were related to space and learning about friction, gravity, the atmosphere, planets and the solar system,” Dietz said.

For an activity on the solar system, children used marshmallows and spaghetti to create their own constellation with stars and planets.

“There were science lessons where children learned about the different phases of the moon. They learned what astronauts eat in space by trying freeze-dried fruit and ice cream sandwiches,” Dietz said.

Mia Giesey, 10, of Cortland, said she learned about the earth and galaxy.

“I had a really good time learning more about the galaxy and space,” she said.

Jordan Smith was one of four teen volunteers, along with four adults who assisted the children with the activities.

“They liked the hands-on learning and going outside to launch their rockets,” she said.

Kellan Shipman, 9, of Greene, said he liked turning the plastic bottles into rockets.

“It was fun to see how far they went up in the air,” Shipman said.

Logan Hartman, 10, of Cortland, said he also liked the bottle-rocket activity which was what each person was able to do at the end of the day.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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