Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Middle School 8th graders had the opportunity to visit the NASA US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, on Friday, September 30th thanks to the help of a new non-profit that was started by an ECHS graduate and his wife.
Adam Schultz, a 2001 ECHS graduate, started the Edmonson County Enrichment Initiative a couple years ago with his wife, Jennifer. With additional help from other local businesses, the 8th grade class was able to take a very memorable trip.
Principal Brandon Prunty said the trip was a wonderful experience for the 8th graders.
"It's something that we couldn't have done without Mr. Shultz, his organization, and local businesses that helped them with fundraising," he said. "It was great to see the students' excitement while at the US Space and Rocket Center. There were several unique experiences available to each student. The planetarium show was one of the best parts of the day. We had many students interacting with the presenter during that time. We even saw a couple of our shy students really coming out of their shells that day. It was a really awesome day overall."
ECMS Guidance Counselor Kelly Rich said the students loved the Alabama trip, where students experienced displays, exhibits, rides, and more.
"The students explored the universe with a dynamic tour guide and were shown how small the earth really is compared to other worlds, solar systems and the universe; the kids were engaged through the entire presentation," she said. "The Space Center provided opportunities to teach students science/engineering through fun activities such as rides and simulators. One specific simulator, The Multi-Axis Trainer, gave several students the opportunity to experience a spacecraft/aircraft tumble; the kids tumbled simultaneously through 3 axes and rotate, somersault, and roll all at once rapidly, The Space Craze exhibit amazed students with toys-games and household-entertainment items that represented the journey of space throughout many generations."
Karen Treece, an 8th grade reading teacher said the staff was very grateful that the students had the opportunity and Amberly Alexander, 8th grade careers teacher said she was certain that the trip will be a major highlight of the students' school year. Writing teacher Heather Rickman said being able for the school to create traveling opportunities and learning experiences is a crucial part of the role of educators.
All administrators and teachers were deeply grateful for the opportunity for the students to experience the Space and Rocket Center. They all extended their deepest gratitude to Schultz and the ECEI.
"Mr. Shultz is already looking at options for future trips for ECMS students," said Mr. Prunty. "We are very honored and thankful to be benefiting from his generosity."