The sixth and seventh graders at Holy Spirit School “blasted off” aboard the virtual space shuttle Outreach at the Buehler Challenger Center in Paramus, NJ. After six weeks of preparation and training, students chose which tasks they wanted to perform during this important mission to Rendezvous with Comet Halley.

Whether on the Communications team, Data team, Medical team, Navigation team, Probe team, Remote team, or others, the students were engaged in problem solving and cooperative activities both in Mission Control and aboard the shuttle itself.  Prior to the trip, students learned about the Challenger crew of 1986, explored the life and training of an astronaut, practiced their communication and science skills, and followed Chris Hadfield and the other astronauts aboard the International Space Station.  A truly interdisciplinary experience, the students kept journals of their preparation, conducted interviews of those alive when the Challenger tragedy occurred, and concluded their experience by filming an official press conference following their successful mission.  It was an amazing experience for all involved!