Building Leadership Team held a three-hour extravaganza that covered the vast topic of outer space last week.
"Wenonah Reach for the Stars" featured NASA and 30 other exhibitors including the American Air and Power Museum, with flight simulators; the Amateur Observers' Society of NY who brought telescopes; Atlantis Marine World; Google Earth which enabled students to find their house from space; Long Island Children's Museum; Long Island Science Center; Northrop Grumman; a moonwalk donated by Eastern Gymnastics Center in Nesconset; music courtesy of the select band, chorus and orchestra and much more.
The awesome elicited a stellar turnout with over 800 community members coming out to participate in the festivities.
Parent coordinator, Chris Brunkell was the driving force behind this year's wildly successful event. She explained that the BLT is "three or four parents and teachers that work together."
The school's principal, Christine DiPaola said that they chose space as the theme to coincide with a year that marks the ending of a few shuttle missions.
"We always link the children's literacy project to the event night," said DiPaola.
The student's space exhibits were displayed prominently throughout the school.
The kindergarten made creative aliens out of recycled material, the first grade constructed flat aliens that they then sent to their family members around the country and around the world, and received letters back from them. The second grade put together impressive models of our solar system.
Third-graders made cereal boxes featuring photos and biographies of famous astronauts. Out of this world outer space posters done by the fourth-graders adorned the walls, and the fifth-graders did PowerPoint presentations.
While there was much to be enjoyed, several students cited the moonwalk in the gymnasium as their favorite part.
"It's like you're walking on the moon," said Mya Goldstein, 9.
"We always have a big turnout for our station. We like to do the fun station," said Lauren Padolecchia, a physical education teacher. "It's great. Every year we have this community theme night; we always have a great turnout. It's a lot of fun."
Parents and kids were all seen walking around with goody bags that were donated by NASA, and filled with DVDs, fact sheets, a word search, coupons and Starburst and Milky Way candies.
Another popular station was run by Marie Ilardi from the Cradle of Aviation.
"This is our living in space class. There's a training suit, authentic space food, a power board from a lunar module and a picture of a space toilet," said Ilardi. "That's the big money question. Kids all want to know about the space toilet."
Children like fourth-grader Mary Reed even got to try on the spacesuit.
"She had no homework tonight, so she's here," said Mary's teacher, Lenore Lounsbury. "There's no homework in my class; they'll learn more tonight by being here."
There was plenty for the little kids to do as well such as making star charts and straw rockets with the Long Island Science Center.
The Wenonah Math Team helped people calculate what their weight and age would be on other planets.
"The years on other planets are different because they don't rotate the same as planet Earth," explained fifth grade teacher Rob Salerno. "You want ones that are slower." He said that on Mercury and Uranus you'd be young, and on Jupiter you'd be very young.
"Mars, you don't want to go near," warned Salerno.
But, on the bright side, Mars has less than half the gravity of what is on the Earth; so you wouldn't weight as much.
"If anyone wants to lighten their load, you may have a long trip ahead of you," joked math teacher Nancy Edzards.
Sachem Robotics team member, Justin Sweet, a senior at Sachem High School North, explained that their robot, proudly displayed during the event, is designed to pickup inflatable pool tubes, and is sponsored by First Robotics.
Ruben Worrell from NASA gave a presentation about an asteroid circling that has a 1 in 250,000 chance of hitting our planet in the year 2036. "It's going to be a fly by," said Worrell.
Worrell said that next year NASA is hoping to bring Skype into schools so that students can ask scientists questions, wherever they're working, including space.