On February 5th, 2019, District REACH Day elementary students from grades 4-5 and middle school REACH students (who submitted an application) took a much anticipated journey to an off-site simulation lab at Challenger Learning Center of Maine in Bangor for a mission entitled: “Rendezvous with a Comet.” For the last four months, students have worked collaboratively and in small groups with communications skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving activities to prepare them for this venture. Middle School REACH students would join the elementary REACH students on District REACH Days to mentor the younger students, create connections, and participate in joint learning activities.
Thirty-two students participated in a high-tech simulation which included science, technology, engineering, and math in an immersive environment. As biologists, navigators, engineers, medical doctors, life support and robotic specialists, meteorologists, and hazmat specialists, students needed to communicate effectively with the astronauts in space from mission control while handling multiple emergencies. Hazardous materials began leaking at space station which needed immediate containment. Students then averted, with less than 2 minutes remaining on the clock, a lack of oxygen crisis. Through successful communication and support, Mission Control guided the astronauts through the mechanical repair process to return the oxygen levels to life-sustaining levels. With persistence and perseverance, students had an amazing experience.