Space Week Brings Activities to Students

By Marta Murvosh
The Salt Lake Tribune
May 4, 2001

Space week activities at Oak Hills ElementaryBOUNTIFUL – The way sixth-grader Taylor Jensen sees the future, the car he will drive

"You won't need steering wheels at all," said the 12-year-old boy, who attends Oak Hills Elementary.

Jensen and his classmates were introduced Thursday morning to the global positioning system, which was developed by the U.S. military and helps people "stay found.

" The Space Dynamics Laboratory at Utah State University in Logan brought handheld GPS units to school for the students to experiment with as part of Utah's Space Week.

Oak Hills Elementary students weren't the only ones learning about the "final frontier"; 24 other schools in Davis, Cache, Box Elder, Weber, Ogden and Logan school districts participated in various activities for Space Week.

Additionally, students at Bountiful, Meadowbrook and Layton's Vae View elementary schools signed their names to banners, which will be microfilmed and sent to the space station.

During the week, students at Oak Hills made and flew paper-plate UFOs, designed sections of an international space station, launched rockets, gazed at stars, created solar systems out of paper or clay and chatted with NASA scientists and two astronauts -- Gregory C. Johnson and former U.S. Sen. Jake Garn.

"You saw the astronaut, you usually think of someone who's been incredible all their life, but he was just a normal kid," said Emily Bailey, 12.

"I learned that if you want to be an astronaut when you are older, you have to try really hard in school and listen to your teachers," Bailey said.