Return to Headlines

Students Gravitate Towards Planetarium

Students have been studying space-related subjects with trips to the BISD Planetarium and classroom visits from teacher Sharon Rigsby. Fifth-grade classrooms have been focusing on the rotation of the Earth.

“They know the rotation gives us day and night, and we advance that by creating a model to help them understand that by breaking the rotation down into hours,” said Rigsby.

The model shows where they are in the Earth's rotation at any given moment of the day.  

“They learn about the relationship between longitude and time and are given the opportunity to earn the Longitude Award from the planetarium on their campus' awards day,” said Rigsby. “To earn this certificate, students have to collect information about cities in 22 different time zones.”

Kindergarten classes have been rotating through the planetarium to learn the basics. 

“They made whirly birds and learned how shape affects the way things move,” said Rigsby. “Manipulating models encourages our learners to work out a full understanding of these concepts on their own.”

“I am excited about the lessons I’ve been working on with these students,” said Rigsby. “Space science encompasses many abstract concepts that are difficult for students to understand, but at the planetarium, we get to help them manipulate concrete models of these abstract ideas.”