Though Huntsville’s most well-known attraction for students is the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, there is a variety of additional ways students could take their learning to new heights. The Huntsville community has a wealth of experiences designed to engage and inspire students of all ages.
Students could examine “Butterflies and Bugs” at the Huntsville Botanical Garden, a beautiful 112-acre site with stunning floral collections, inviting woodland paths, broad grassy meadows, aquatic areas, demonstration vegetable and herb gardens, and the Nature Center—the nation’s largest open-air butterfly house. They’ll be immersed in a total body experience as they come face to face with thousands of native butterflies, tadpoles, frogs, tree frogs, turtles, button quail, and other critters living in the waterfall, ponds, streams, and lush vegetation of the Nature Center.
“Exploring Enzymes” will be all your students will be able to talk about after visiting the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, a nonprofit genome research institute located in Cummings Research Park. In this investigative activity, students will learn about enzyme specificity, discuss the role of enzymatic reactions during digestion of a fast food meal, evaluate several enzymes used in the production of apple juice and even create their own cheeses using enzymes produced by biotechnology.
Interpreters will make history come alive during “Village Living History” at Alabama Constitution Hall Park & Museum living history museum that marks the site where Alabama became the 22nd state admitted to the Union in 1819. During this activity, interpreters will invite students to card cotton, turn the great wheel lathe in the cabinet shop and watch the blacksmith’s handiwork.
At Burritt on the Mountain, students could be immersed in “The Underground Railroad Experience.” Though the Underground Railroad had no tracks or train cars, it moved thousands of slaves from the South to freedom. Students will learn who traveled on the Underground Railroad and where they went by following the clues from one “safe” house to the next. Students will also hear music from this time period as they create a souvenir craft.
“The Ultimate Field Trip” at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center brings your classroom curriculum to life! The Rocket Center houses more than 1,500 artifacts from America’s space program, including an authentic Saturn V moon rocket and Pathfinder, the world’s only full-scale shuttle stack. Students will experience a unique and inspiring day full of interactive simulators and exhibits and a hands-on, STEM curriculum-based science lab.
Looking for an out-of-this-world venue for your students’ musical performance? Come for a space camp or aviation challenge program and stay to perform! Bands, choirs, and other musical groups can perform at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center under the Pathfinder shuttle, the Saturn V moon rocket or in the Apollo Courtyard. Many musicians are able to say they’ve performed in a parade, but how many can say they’ve performed under a Saturn V moon rocket?
At NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, students could explore the International Space Station Payload Operations Integration Center, which is responsible for NASA’s on-board science operations for the International Space Station (ISS) and is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Thanks to a viewing area, students are able to observe the control room operations!
Learn more at Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Content and photo courtesy of Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau.