Indian Head Students Visit the Solar System During Virtual Lesson

LA PLATA, Md. (Jan. 28, 2010)—The fourth- and fifth-grade robotics teams from Indian Head Elementary School took a trip to Mars, the Moon, the Milky Way and other parts of the solar system on Friday, Jan. 15, without ever leaving their desks.

The more than 30 students were treated to a complimentary hour long distance learning lesson titled “Journey Through The Solar System,” one of 11 virtual lessons offered through the Space Center Houston’s Education Program. The lesson was taught by Kim Silvrants, a Space Center Houston teacher, and students climbed aboard NASA space crafts and probes to visit planets in the solar system.

Through the lesson, students also learned about distances between planets, the role gravity plays in the solar system, and the differences and similarities of each planet. Silvrants had the students perform a hands-on experiment with string and metal washers to demonstrate orbital planet patterns, and use photos of planets taken by NASA space crafts to identify characteristics of the solar system.

The lesson, which usually costs $185 per session, was provided to Indian Head by Congressman Steny Hoyer and supports national science, mathematics and history standards. Indian Head Principal Toni Melton-Trainor said Hoyer randomly selected the school to receive the lesson.

For more information about the Space Center Houston’s Education Program, visit

Source: Charles County Public School System

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