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A group of fifth graders from Biloxi Upper Elementary School took a field trip today without even leaving the building. The kids took a journey through the stars inside a hands-on planetarium.
A big black object was sitting in Biloxi Upper Elementary School’s gym Thursday. Students were told it was a planetarium brought in to help them learn about outer space. Fifth Grader Jacob Alexander said, “Before I went in the planetarium, just thinking about the name, I was thinking it was going to be about plants.”
It’s the University of Mississippi’s Astronomy Week and graduate researchers with the Center for Mathematics and Science Education brought in a planetarium to help students learn more about what’s beyond our earth. Fifth grader Aurea Paulino said, “All I knew was about the Milky Way, Uranus, and Jupiter.”
The group of fifth graders lined up one by one for a lesson about the solar system inside the planetarium. Graduate Researcher Justin Ragland said, “It instills an excitement about science, even if it’s not wanting to be an astronaut or something like that, it gets you excited to learn about science.”
Once inside, kids were shown visual images of planets, star constellations, and learned lessons about space from out of this world. “We learned where the sun goes down, where it comes up. We learned a lot about the planets and everything else,” said Jacob.
“I learned what the star constellation is. I never knew that existed,” said Aurea.
Fifth grader Seth Green said, “I never knew why they named the Milky Way the Milky Way. I thought it was after the candy bar. I’m just going to be honest.”
The group of fifth graders say the experience opened their eyes to what is beyond our earth. “I saw the stars and how beautiful and vast they are. I zoomed out and saw the galaxy and I just saw it all.”


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