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The School Buzz: Manitou HS students go to Mars with help of Challenger Learning Center

Students from Manitou Springs High School are returning from a trip to Mars ... through a simulation, of course.

Science students from Manitou Springs High recently visited the Challenger Learning Center in Colorado Springs. They used real critical thinking, solving codes, while working in “mission control,” learning to prioritize safety while finding water with a ROV. They even visited the Moon, learning about NASA’s Artemis program. In fact, these students were awarded gold medals on their mission patches because of their impressive skills.

Kelly Perry is the science teacher who made the field trip happen. She has a PhD in chemistry and worked for the U.S. Department of Energy for a decade. She says she wanted to address the national teacher shortage and inspire and challenge her students. She feels the space race is important and we, as a country, need "all hands on deck."

"Students learned 'it is a lot harder than it looks,' said Perry.

She added that the students learned "what they do in a space station and the choices they have to make ... what every job does and why they do it, space missions and the importance and efforts NASA has been working towards ... communication is key," she said.

"Students became more confident in their communication skills."

This field trip was made through a generous one-time donation from the Challenger Learning Center of Colorado, Blue Origin, Kinder Morgan Foundation, and a local company called Criterium-McCafferty Engineers. Perry hopes to make this an annual field trip.

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Josh Helmuth

Josh is an anchor for Good Morning Colorado. Learn more about Josh here.


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