DOWNEY - During the past four months students from Gauldin Elementary School's K-kids club (50 fourth- and fifth-grade students) have gone on field trips to the following destinations: Downey Coca-Cola plant, Columbia Memorial Space Center and Newport Landing whale watching.In the tour of the Coca-Cola plant, students learned that chemistry is an integral part of the Coca-Cola manufacturing operations. Students were brought into a large conference room where the staff talked to them about the history and daily functions of the company with a little trivia and prizes. With more than 100 different flavors to sample from, students were able to sample different products and flavors from a new Coca-Cola Freestyle Soda Machine. Finally, students were able to walk through the production area and learn about the composition of Coca-Cola and how Coke bottles are produced on a fully-functioning bottling line. At the Columbia Memorial Space Center, students transformed themselves into scientists, engineers, researchers and astronauts through their participation in the Center's space simulation. They voyaged to the moon, and in Mission Control one team directed the critical activities of the students onboard the space station navigation, maintaining life support systems, communicating or conducting research. The students experienced the critical thinking, leadership, cooperation and problem solving challenges necessary for mission success. They were able to learn and apply concepts in math, technology and science. In the Newport Landing whale watching trip, students learned about the marine eco system and were able to view whales, dolphins, sea lions and marine birds. The experience of being on a boat provided unique ways to learn about the marine environment. Field trips are an important part of academics because they enrich a child's education. Many students don't have the opportunity to go to new places, let alone see what they're learning. Attending these field trips provided a new and welcomed experience to students who wouldn't otherwise have them. Expenses for these trips were met by generous contributions by Kiwanis Club of Downey and food donations from Porto's Bakery & Café. We thank them for their support. We would also like to thank Councilman Fernando Vasquez, a Kiwanis board member, and the Downey City Council for helping secure the transportation for Downey student leaders from Gauldin Elementary and East Middle school Builders Club to the Columbia Memorial Space Center.
********** Published: May 19, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 5