Blogs About Reading

Book Life

Rachael Walker

In this special series, children's literacy consultant Rachael Walker and many of the authors, parents, and educators she’s met and worked with talk about how books have changed their lives, how to bring books to life for young readers, and how to enrich kids’ lives with good books. (Also visit Rachael at her blog, Belle of the Book.)

Balloon-Powered Mars Lander: The Great Egg Drop Experiment!

September 30, 2019
Three kids from the Washington DC Jubilee Housing early start summer program with their balloon-powered Mars landers

This guest blog post was contributed by Kaitlin Very, Program Coordinator of the Early Start program of Jubilee Youth Services in Washington, DC.

Jubilee Youth Services is part of Jubilee Housing, a faith-based nonprofit organization founded in 1973 that provides affordable housing and supportive services to some 800 economically disadvantaged residents of the Adams Morgan neighborhood.

 

Our students have been enjoying the Reading Rockets Space Rangers curriculum for several weeks. They have learned about gravity, paths of orbit, the moon, the sun, the solar system, and most recently, the planet Mars. This past week they learned all about why Mars has its red color, what the planet’s weather is like, and how we have been able to land space explorers on its surface to learn more about it.

Then, they got to do an experiment where they designed their own spacecraft that they tested to see if it could land on Mars without damaging the exploration craft inside. They loved getting to build the spacecraft and make it their own by putting special colors and designs on them.

Kids at Washington DC youth summer program building a Mars lander

Once they were all built — complete with eggs inside to stand in for the exploration crafts — we tested them by dropping them from the top of an outdoor staircase! The youth really enjoyed getting to curate their experience from start to finish and loved the thrill of dropping their designs over the edge of the staircase to see how they would do. We are so grateful to Reading Rockets for providing this awesome curriculum to us and we can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer brings!

Kids at Washington DC youth summer program creating and testing a Mars lander

Thank you, Reading Rockets!

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"The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I [haven't] read." — Abraham Lincoln