River View Junior High students experience NASA project

| May 21, 2019

WARSAW – On May 16, math students from River View Junior High had the opportunity to live the life of NASA Mission Control specialists, not by reading a book or watching a video, but rather through first-hand experience with simulated space missions at Wheeling Jesuit University’s Challenger Learning Center in Wheeling, W.Va.

From navigating a safe and successful probe launch to solving a life-threatening radiation problem, Molly Bordenkircher’s students truly “walked in the shoes” of NASA engineers for a day filled with imagination, creativity, and discovery.

“The overall goal of the mission is to improve students’ problem-solving skills and enhance their creative and critical thinking ability,” said Jackie Shia, director of the challenger center. “The missions also go a step further to foster teamwork and plant the seeds for long-term interest in science and math.”

The center offers two simulated experiences for students: Working in a space station while in orbit and working with mission control, an operational hub modeled after NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. During the two-hour mission, students serve on one of eight teams. Through the power of imagination and the excitement of discovery, students assume the roles of NASA engineers and scientists to monitor astronaut vital signs, analyze test results, and solve problems, all to ensure a successful space mission.

“All teams must work together to reach a common goal and each student plays an integral part in making this possible,” Shia said. “It’s amazing to see the energy that’s created among these kids as they learn more about the importance of math and science.”

Bordenkircher was very proud of her students.

“They worked hard to accomplish the goals of the mission and they truly enjoyed the challenge,” she said. “Many thanks to the River View Schools Foundation along with Coshocton C.A.R.E.S. for funding the trip. I appreciate their commitment to students and teachers in Coshocton County.”

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