Our Cram-packed Trip to Wallops Island, VA October 19 and 20, 2018
How much learning and fun can a group of 7th graders cram into 40 hours? You’d be amazed!
Leaving Danbury at 4 in the morning, the Finding Our Way students rode 6 hours to arrive at Wallops Island, Virginia, home to NASA and NOAA, at 10 am just in time for tours. Greeted by NASA scientists, the students toured the flight center’s grounds seeing the rocket launchers and learning about the upcoming launch – a re-supply mission to the International Space Station.
Next, stop a visit to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s giant satellite dishes that receive data about weather and atmospheric conditions from satellites constantly orbiting the earth. Here, scientists explained how NOAA’s data helps NASA accomplish rocket launches, among other things.
After lunch, off to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. This unspoiled area offers many features of both a watershed and wildlife preserve. Students hiked a trail to the beach observing familiar water features – marsh, beach, and dunes – and sighting a variety of local waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, and songbirds. Best though, was the chance to run along the beach and lapping waves and getting up close to the famous red and white striped lighthouse.
Next day, the group headed to Delaware to Dover Air Force Base to visit the Air Mobility Command Museum, home to over 30 aircraft of various roles and sizes including cargo haulers, fighters, helicopters, a presidential aircraft, and a bomber. In one student’s opinion, Dover Air Force Base was his favorite “because we got to experience what people experience on the plane.” Inside, the museums are exhibits about humanitarian and war efforts causing one student to remark, “the history was very cool.”