Northwest NEWS

November 15, 1999

Front Page

'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star'

preschool students

Northshore Cooperative Preschool students (front to back) Katie Galvagno, Nikki Kranzthor, Alaura Valley, and Christian and Morgan Hoff enjoyed their visit to the planetarium at Inglemoor High School.
Photo by Paula Kranzthor.

These kids do more than learn nursery rhymes

by Anita Price, special to the Weekly

   High school students keep getting younger. At least that was true recently, when a troop of four- and five-year-olds poured onto the campus of Inglemoor High School.

   The pre-kindergarten class at Northshore Cooperative Preschool was on a special field trip to the high school planetarium. The visit was hosted by astronomy and applied physics teacher Cheri Dracobly and four student members of the Astronomy Club.

   For the past several weeks, the curriculum at Northshore Co-op, located in Kenmore, has included rocket building, trips in space shuttles, discussions on planets, and lunar observations.

   "We've been learning about the planets and what's special about each one," school director Bev Ragsdale said.

   Participating in the learning experience were several parents, who ushered children out of the storm and into the planetarium.

   As the children settled into their seats, Astronomy Club faculty advisor Cheri Dracobly introduced the four students who would guide the tour through space. The room darkened, and an array of stars appeared above the group. Janelle Root pointed to the planets Jupiter and Saturn. The children watched as the moon orbited about their heads, assuming the same shapes as the moon chart they had created at school.

   Allyson Martin and Sarah Simmons outlined star constellations. The preschoolers were introduced to the Big and Little Dippers, or Big and Little Bears, Lyra the Harp, and Pegasus. Ricky Rodriguez ended the space tour with the stories of Cassiopeia and Andromeda. The question and answer period that followed drew an array of inquiries from these budding astonomists.

   "How do the stars get up there?" asked Nicholas Gorman.

   Observing the directional symbols, Cameron Doane asked, "Why is the alphabet up there?"

   "Why is the moon flying around?" Nolan Price wanted to know.

   "Why does the sun come out?" questioned Colin Messner.

   "Why does the earth go 'round and 'round?" asked Christian Hoff, while Tommy Sewell simply wanted to know, "When are you gonna turn on the lights?"

   For information about Northshore Co-op Preschool, call (425) 485-4860. For information about Inglemoor High School Planetarium, call 489-6500.