Cedar Point Elementary School Celebrates Space Week

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Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)

Cedar Point Elementary School (CPES) students are landing back on Earth after “exploring the moon” as part of United Nations World Space Week. The theme of the 2019 celebration was “The Moon: Gateway to the Stars.” World Space Week is celebrated annually in 80 countries.

The CPES Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) hosted the week-long celebration by providing teachers with space-themed worksheets by grade level, planning the “Space Walk to School” event, and inviting guest speaker Gregory Mann from NASA to present to students.
Gregory Mann (NASA speaker) and Principal Marinoble in front of kids raising their hands
“Would any of you like to work for NASA some day?” Principal Mark Marinoble asked the room full of students before introducing Mann. At least half of the students raised their hands.

This was Mann’s second time presenting to CPES students. “Last year the kids asked such thought-provoking questions that Dr. Marinoble asked that we invite [Mann] back again this year,” said PTO President Charlene Currin.

Mann held two presentations at CPES, one for kindergarten through second grade, and another for third through fifth grade. In both presentations he spoke to the students about the last time man walked on the moon, and the plans for the next manned expedition of the moon, set for 2024.

“When did we first set foot on the moon?” Mann asked the younger group of students while showing a picture of the first moon-walk. At least one student excitedly yelled, “1969!” To which Mann responded, “Either some of you can read [what I have on the screen], you have very good memories, or some of you are older than you look.” Students laughed, and Mann continued with his presentation about the differences between the last moon-walk and the plans for the next.

At the conclusion of each presentation, Mann asked the students to raise their hands with questions, and hundreds of little hands bounced up in the air. Students asked Mann things such as, “What is the moon made of?” and “Do you think anyone will ever stand on the sun?”

When Mann was inevitably asked about aliens he responded as any true NASA scientist would, explaining, “There could be aliens, but we haven’t found any evidence of them…yet.”
Mann speaking with three students, one wearing a space suit costume
Mann answered as many questions as he could, even allowing students to ask him questions as they lined up to head back to class.

World Space Week concluded at CPES with the announcement of winners of the classroom space display contest in which classrooms could enter their space-themed class projects for judging.

Future NASA scientists and astronauts from CPES are already looking forward to next year’s World Space Week.


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