3-2-1 … Liftoff for a memorable trip
December 23, 2022
Fifth graders from Patrick M. Villano School went on a very important mission – to rendezvous with one of our solar system’s most famous comets, Comet Halley. Although they didn’t actually liftoff and travel into space, they did venture to the Buehler Science and Challenger Center in Paramus, New Jersey. The annual field trip took place at the beginning of December.
“It felt really exciting, but I was a little nervous,” said Maddy Downing, a fifth-grader.
Students were divided into two groups that went on different days. At Buehler, students use teamwork to complete a mission: “Rendezvous with Comet Halley”. Each student is responsible for a job in either a simulated spacecraft or Mission Control room. Jobs were in the medical, navigation and communication fields. The goal is to accurately land a probe to collect scientific data on the moving comet. Students said the some highlights were experimenting with chemicals, building a probe and using headsets to communicate.
“I thought the students would love the trip, and I think over the years, they will never forget it,” Cate Gallucci stated.
Gallucci is a fifth grade Science and Social Studies teacher and organized the trip. She has been taking fifth graders to Buehler for years, and she always remembers the trip as one of her favorites.
“Buhler was really fun, and it was a good way to learn. I recommend anyone who hasn’t gone to go,” Oliver Stutzel commented.
The center closed for a short time in 2019 which grounded the field trip for students at that time. The center reorganized and reopened last year.