4-H’ers learn about space travel at NASA facility

Bruce Schultz  |  5/17/2018 1:48:41 PM

(05/16/18) EVANGELINE, La. — The Evangeline Elementary School’s new 4-H Club toured Space Center Houston on May 9 to see how material they have learned in 4-H science lessons is applied in space travel.

Amber Doucet, a fifth-grade teacher, and Casey Roberie, a fourth-grade teacher, brought 55 4-H Club members with their families on buses to the Space Center.

Both teachers, who were in 4-H as youths, said the science material covered by LSU AgCenter 4-H agents Kayla Segura and Megan Sarver dovetailed with their science and reading lessons, and that made the classroom instruction more enjoyable for students.

“They loved the activities the 4-H agents were presenting,” Doucet said.

Both 4-H agents said the lessons were a valuable asset.

Sarver said this year’s aerospace lessons revitalized the club meeting programs.

“The youth were more engaged than ever, and the leaders appreciated the educational aspect of each lesson,” Sarver said. “I found that 4-H’ers were excited to hear about what they would learn and get to do at the next meeting.”

Segura said the lessons improved the learning opportunity at the 4-H Club. “The relevance and participation in this event gives me confidence that our lesson study was impactful,” she said.

Roberie agreed that the 4-H material enhanced the science lessons for her class. “They were able to take what they were learning in class and put it with what the 4-H agents were using,” she said.

Students became more interested in science because of what they were learning during the 4-H Club meetings by making paper airplanes and rockets to study aerodynamics.

At NASA, students were able to see the huge Saturn rocket, view a working mock-up of the International Space Station, experience a virtual reality space flight simulator, go inside the Space Shuttle and learn how astronauts live in the spacecraft.

“I think this trip opened up their eyes to more than what they knew existed, so now they see all these other opportunities,” Doucet said.

“The kids saw it hands-on,” Roberie said. “It was more of an educational experience for them rather than just reading it out of a book.”

Student Landon Manuel said he liked experiencing what space travel is like. “The simulation ride impressed me the most because you could flip it upside down and all over and see what space is like,” he said.

Many parents joined their children on the trip, and it was a chance for family time. The 4-H agents also attended.

The Evangeline Elementary 4-H Club membership is roughly 60 students in its first year after Principal Chad Latiolais took the initiative to have a 4-H Club again.

“We have even more saying they are going to join next year because they see what these kids got to do,” Doucet said.

Student Kensley Ringuet said 4-H has provided a wide range of learning experiences. “4-H taught me about gravity and life skills and the possibilities the future holds,” she said.

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Evangeline Elementary School students with the space shuttle at Space Center Houston on May 9. Photo provided by Darla Clay

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The Evangeline Elementary School 4-H Club of Acadia Parish took a field trip to Space Center Houston on May 9 to see several examples of what they have learned in class and at 4-H Club meetings about space travel. Photo provided by Amber Doucet

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