UW-Fox Valley Logo

Barlow Planetarium Offers 'Wisconsin Space Academy 2006' Sessions

[This page is preserved for historical and reference purposes only.  The information contained on it may no longer be current.]

The Barlow Planetarium is offering the “Wisconsin Space Academy 2006” (WSA) summer camp for children who will be entering grades 4 through 7 this fall. The WSA sessions take place on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley in Menasha, with sessions scheduled weekly Monday through Friday, including some from 9:00 a.m. to noon and others from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., from late June through early August.

Wisconsin Space Academy 2006According to Karen Klamczynski, director of the Barlow Planetarium and coordinator of the WSA, the “cadets” will have daily snacks and receive a custom WSA 2006 t-shirt. The cadets make new friends and literally "have a blast!"

“We’re offering four challenging levels of rockets and science to keep kids busy and learning,” Klamczynski said. “All the participants start with level one, ‘Blast Off & Explore the Night Sky.’ At level two, we add parachutes to the rockets that the cadets make, and call this level, ‘Parachute & Journey Through the Stars.’

“For cadets who want to move on to level three, we challenge them with, ‘Payloads & Deep Space Mysteries,’ with a special simulated space mission included. At level four, we allow cadets to actually design, build and launch their own rocket and research show any astronomy topic they choose,” she explained.

Each of the four levels offers cadets the opportunity to build and launch model rockets under the supervision of the WSA staff. The cadets also get to explore our galaxy through the Barlow Planetarium’s 3-D virtual reality visual presentations.

In each session the cadets gets to work together to create their own planetarium show and build model rockets. The cadets get to launch their rockets and present the planetarium show to their parents as part of the special “family night,” held at 6:30 on the Thursday night of the session week that the cadet is enrolled in.

"Some people assume WSA is 'all boys,' but a lot of girls are interested in astronomy and rockets too,” Klamczynski observed. “Girls may tend to paint their rockets red or pink, but they blast off the launch pad just the same as all the others!

"WSA offers a great opportunity for kids to explore science in a safe and fun environment. Educators and parents know it's important to encourage children to do well in math and science--Wisconsin Space Academy is designed to do just that.”

Klamczynski observed that, “It's wonderful to see the careful effort that each cadet puts into building his or her own rocket, and it's so exciting when the rockets roar off the launch pad. The kids learn so much during each session, and everyone has their moment in the Sun....but perhaps the best lesson is that the sky is not the limit of where they can go and what they can accomplish.”

For more information about the Wisconsin Space Academy 2006, contact the Klamczynski at the Barlow Planetarium, 920-832-2852, or visit the Wisconsin Space Academy website, http://www.uwfox.uwc.edu/barlow/space.html.

Posted 4/21/2006