Grade 6 Students Take Field Trip to Framingham State University’s Christa McAuliffe Center for Science Exploration

“This place is amazing!” “Are we learning the same things as college students?” “I loved being able to develop my problem solving and communication skills.” These were just some of the statements from awe-inspired sixth graders as they experienced a full day of science exploration at Framingham State University’s Christa McAuliffe Center. On Thursday, October 18, a group of 39 grade 6 students, along with their teachers, traveled to Framingham to learn about space exploration.

The students have been learning about the vast solar system, and a field trip to experience simulated travel into space allowed them to further delve into the science unit. The trip began with a breathtaking planetarium viewing about the ongoing search for water in our solar system. Titled “Oasis in Space,” the film highlighted our galaxy, the planets in it, and whether we could one day find life outside Earth. The students were then given the opportunity to ask all sorts of questions about space exploration, planet Earth, and one day finding life.

The next stop was the Challenger Center, where students “traveled” to Mars in search of forms of life. In order to be successful, students had to use quick thinking and communication skills to safely navigate the red planet. There were nine teams, each with a specific job to ensure a safe trip. Narrowly missing a rogue asteroid, the team of sixth grade astronauts completed a successful mission, ultimately finding signs of life on Mars.

“This trip was a tremendous experience for our sixth graders,” said Loyola Academy science teacher Mr. Anthony DeVito. “Each student was learning with a smile on their face – nothing beats that!”