Guest teacher introduces aerospace to students at Hollandale Christian School

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 25, 2003

It’s Thursday afternoon, a day when students at Hollandale Christian School would usually be in normal classes, learning everyday curriculum. Instead, the gym is filled with chatter and the rustling of tissue paper.

Clad in a cool blue astronaut jumpsuit, complete with patches from NASA, Carol Winterboer of Carroll, Iowa walks from table to table of children, showing them how to put together hot air balloons.

Winterboer is teaching the students about space science. She has spent two days each year for the last four years coming to the school to teach and show children how outer space is laid out and how astronauts travel through it.

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&uot;I love it. The kids are so open to learning new things,&uot; she said. &uot;It’s just fun to see them get excited about it.&uot;

Winterboer is a graduate of Hollandale Christian School and Albert Lea High School. She now teaches third grade in Carroll. She was runner up for teacher of the year in 1998. The prize for teacher of the year was a trip to space camp, but the first place winner wasn’t able to go, so Winterboer went.

The program was called the International Teacher’s Space Camp and was held at a station in Huntsville, Ala.

&uot;It was awesome,&uot; Winterboer explained. &uot;I was back in the position of being a student.&uot;

Winterboer was among an international group of teachers who were picked to participate in the program. The group trained on many of the same machines and through many of the same programs that astronauts do.

She said the camp was among of the hardest 10 days she ever experienced, but also some of the most fulfilling learning she has done.

Winterboer is sharing what she learned at space camp with students in all grades at Hollandale Christian School. With each grade, she is working on different projects.

She teaches all students about the solar system and shows them how space ships launch and orbit, and how the different parts of ships work.

First-graders made rockets out of wrapping paper tubes, film canisters and antacid tablets. The third- and fourth-graders did the same, but also worked with a scientific experiment, seeing how different tablet sizes affected air time.

The fifth- through eighth-graders worked on tissue paper hot air balloons. This was the project Thursday afternoon. Winterboer showed the students the process and then gave them the materials to make their own.

Fifth-grader Michael Wedel and sixth-grader Matthew Reed, worked together making a balloon. Both said they were excited about seeing their balloon fly, something they hope to do Friday afternoon.

&uot;I hope it goes up,&uot; Wedel said.

Winterboer has been coming to teach Hollandale students lessons in space science for the last four years. She said she enjoys working with the students.

&uot;It’s fun coming back home to teach,&uot; she said.