The excitement in the room is palpable. Students are organized into groups and sitting on the edge of their seats. Today Chikaming Elementary, River Valley, is connecting to the Challenger Learning Center in West Virginia for their stellar program, Operation Montserrat.
While a bit on the expensive side, the CLC e-missions are the coolest, most interactive programs available out there. The e-missions were developed by the CLC in West Virginia, but the CLC in Kentucky also offers them, as well as the National Space Centre in the UK.
The program starts with students getting settled into their roles and learning about the island, the wind speeds, and the readings coming from the volcano. Things start getting hectic for the students as the hurricane starts coming in towards the island and the volcano starts erupting. Students carefully review maps to understand where the volcano flow was coming down.
Well, that connection was going great until the connection to CLC started dropping. So I switched the connection so the school was calling them directly and could quickly redial instead of waiting for me to redial for them. Because at the same time, a project connection with Canada couldn’t connect on their own and had to be moved to my bridge to work. And another school that was supposed to be connecting to the Alaska SeaLife Center on their own couldn’t make it work and we tried a ton of things that never worked. Rachel Simon in Alaska is so patient! She said, “Technology is our friend, but sometimes we fight with our friends.” Whew!
But the E-Mission kept going and after touching base with the building coordinator, I learned that the program was wonderful and the teacher and students loved it. Yeah!