CBS Preschoolers explore space during in-house field trip

Miles Gilpin, 4, watches a video entitled Journey to Mars as it is projected on the inside of the inflatable "discovery dome" during a presentation by Kidspace Children's Museum for the pre-Kindergarten class at Congregation Beth Shalom in Santa Clarita on Friday. The class has been studying the planets and the stars. Dan Watson/ The Signal

Children as young as two explored the night sky and traveled through space at Congregation Beth Shalom (C.B.S.) Preschool Friday morning.

The in-house field trip featured a Discovery Dome from Kidspace Children’s Museum that allowed the students in the 2- to 3-year-old class and pre-kindergarten class to explore the galaxies, planets and moons.

“When you walked in it looked like an observatory,” said Carol Bloom, C.B.S. Preschool’s director of early childhood education.  “They talked about all the constellations, planets, what made all the planets different and they could show you and you could see it.”

The inflatable, 12-foot discovery dome allowed students to see images of outer space, watch a video titled “Journey to Mars” and learn from Kidspace Children’s Museum Educator Tony Martinelli.

“They loved it,” Bloom said.  “He [Martinelli] took the time and explained it and it was just fascinating.”

The in-house field trip was timely for the pre-k student who had just completed a lesson on space.

“This culminated their learning for the week and that’s what we do at C.B.S. is try to make a hands-on experience,” Bloom said.

Children also had the chance to play with Mr. Mindspace, a miniature mars rover made of Legos.

Bloom said her students loved participating in the fieldtrip.  Her youngest students said they felt like they were in a spaceship and her pre-k students said they could almost touch the planets.

“Having it here was amazing because, if you’ve gone to the observatory, it’s so overwhelming and here it is right here in our home,” Bloom said.

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