By Julie Johansen
The AstroVan from Clark Planetarium visited Cottonwood Elementary on Thursday afternoon.
Jayceen Craven Walker, planetarium educator, first instructed the entire student body in an assembly about heat and properties of matter related to hot and cold. She also told the students about the expansion and suppression of the molecules during the process of heating or cooling matter. Walker then explored the transfer of heat through convection and conduction.
After 45 minutes with the entire student body, Walker then worked with third grade students on planet Earth and other heavenly bodies around our planet such as the moon, stars, among others. The sixth grade was then privileged to be taught about the entire universe.
These periods of instruction are taught to help enhance learning in the science curriculum in those grade levels. The AstroVan has also visited other elementary schools in this area during its tour of rural Utah. The Utah State Legislature appropriates funding for programs like these to give school children of rural areas an opportunity to learn from The Planetarium, The Leonardo, The Living Aquarium and others.
Cottonwood Principal John Hughes mentioned that Senator David Hinkins is instrumental in getting funding for programs like these.