The 4 year olds in Stein Yeshiva’s early childhood have been busy studying space and the Solar System! The children were very excited to use a classroom tablet to stream in to the International Space Station and watch astronauts in real time as they worked in zero gravity. They most enjoyed watching the scientists float around with their hair standing up, of course!
The children continued to explore space as they journeyed through books on the Solar System in the classroom reading center. They especially loved Dr. Seuss’ book, “There’s No Place Like Space.” Through reading about the Solar System, the children learned the names of the planets and their special qualities.
The students were so fascinated by what they discovered, they wanted to create a space station right in the classroom! The budding engineers got right to work building a huge rocket ship out of boxes and decorated it to look like a spaceship to take them to the space station. The inside is so big that four children can stand up inside it all at once!
Through Project Based Learning, the children used sensory rich art materials to create planets of their own. The children described their planets and their special qualities to the rest of the class. Some planets had lots of craters, some were totally covered with forests, some were always hot and some were always cold. Then, together as a class, the children created a gigantic moon crater. The children filled a bowl with Plaster of Paris, then dropped different sized rocks from varying heights creating dents in the plaster. The combination of height and gravity created enough force to dent the plaster and form craters, voilà!
The class had a fascinating discussion about the dwarf planet, Pluto, and how its status as a planet has changed. It was a perfect example of how scientific facts can change, in contrast to the Torah, which is always consistent and true. The children also discussed how amazing it is that the Earth is just the right distance from the sun with just the right atmosphere and gravity for people to live on. How great Hashem is for making our planet this way!