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Flintville Elementary School students were the first in the nation to learn about the night sky and see stars in the middle of the afternoon using a portable planetarium on loan from Arnold Engineering and Engineering Development Center.
Billy Hix, a nationally recognized educator, spent the day with Flintville students recently, learning about the fall constellations as well space pioneers like Neil Armstrong. Hix, recognized for his background in science, technology, education and math, was featured recently in Astronomy magazine for his public outreach. He also works as a teacher liaison for the Space Foundation of Colorado.
“He took each group of our students on an in-depth tour of the night sky using the Air Force’s portable planetarium on loan through AEDC,” said Lisa Creson, family and pupil services coordinator at the school. “Flintville Elementary School is the first school in the nation to get to use this piece of equipment, and we are thrilled.”
Stating that educators must use every tool possible to excite this next generation of citizens, Hix said we must be able to show them that what they are learning in the classroom relates to the real world outside the classroom and that we have to do everything possible to create the mindset that science and math are fun to now and understand.
The school’s principal, David Golden, praised Hix, saying he has an enthusiasm and a talent for teaching that is breathtaking.
“I have worked with the Flintville staff and students many times over the past 15 years, and you will not find a harder working group of teachers or a better group of students,” Hix said. “It is not everyday that you find students who all say thank you as they leave a learning session.”