Mission to Mars within their reach

By: Darlene Boyd News Messenger Correspondent
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To help the students: To help Eileen Binning’s fifth-grade class at Carlin C. Coppin Elementary School raise funds for their field trips, the Lincoln News Messenger will donate $15 of any new $26 subscription or renewal made by Nov. 30. Besides the Mars field trip, the fifth-graders will see “The Conductor” at B Street Theater in Sacramento and watch a Monarchs basketball game in Sacramento. Subscribers should indicate that they’re participating in this fundraiser. For more information, call The News Messenger office at 645-7733. Eileen Binning’s fifth-graders are excited about their upcoming trip to Mars. The Carlin C. Coppin Elementary School students won’t actually travel to another planet; rather, they’re traveling to Sacramento on Dec. 4. That’s where the students will check out “The Mars Exhibit” at the Discovery Museum. “This exhibit is special because it gives the students a taste of how science, math or team skills apply to jobs in the real world,” Binning said. “In order to work in these fields, they need to know math, the universal language, and the decimal system if they want to fly. Instead of asking why they need to learn these skills, they see firsthand how they are applied in the space mission.” The students are preparing for this field trip by studying related subjects in their Lincoln classroom. Students are also creating a flight plan and dropping rocks from various heights to see how the material breaks up. As part of the studies, one student creates a building made of Legos while it is hidden from his or her partner. Then the builder must accurately describe the building so the partner can duplicate it. “This stresses the importance of teamwork for the mission to come off,” Binning said. Before they board a school bus to the Discovery Museum on Dec. 4, they will sell subscriptions for The Lincoln News Messenger to earn money for the trip since there is an hourly fee as well as a $2.50-per-mile cost to use the bus. This trip is half a day. In addition to her 29 students, Binning is taking 10 other fifth-graders to the museum. “Not all students are allowed to participate in the exhibit, only fifth-graders. The class is divided into two teams,” Binning explained. “One team is assigned to work at the mission control and wear headsets and phones to communicate. The second team members are assigned jobs in guidance, medical and other positions. They can see each other on camera. Then the teams reverse.” Another opportunity is for the students to fix the broken shuttle by wearing big gloves, fixing it the same way as if they are in outer space, “Binning said. “This is what people do for a real job. So much fun.” When asked what the students thought about the upcoming trip, Bailee Mc Intyre said, “ It actually will feel like you are riding to Mars on a spaceship except we won’t be floating because of gravity.” Her classmate, Payton Cervetti said she expected to, “see fake rocks that look like the real thing and possibly wax figures.”  Another student, Tyler Reed, said that he wanted to see inside the rocket and expected to see, “ a bunch of buttons and switches.” Jacob Holdaway said that he wanted to learn about space and thought, “it would be a great adventure.”