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2014 Lights On Afterschool A Huge Success

by Jon Sayer | | Posted under School's Out News

On October 23, 2014, over 8,000 communities across the nation celebrated Lights On Afterschool! Included in that count were almost 50 in Washington State. We’ve highlighted two celebrations, including one co-sponsored by School’s Out Washington.

Schmitz Park Students Have “Best Day EVER!”

This girl had a hair-raising experience with Pacific Science Center's Van de Graaff generator.

This girl had a hair-raising experience with Pacific Science Center’s Van de Graaff generator.

School’s Out had a great time celebrating Lights On Afterschool with Pacific Science Center and the Associated Recreation Council at Schmitz Park Elementary school (the Hiawatha program). Site Director Kevin Robinson, with around 100 kids, family members, and staff, enjoyed a Science on Wheels presentation that included liquid nitrogen, frozen balloons, and some hair-raising fun with a Van de Graaff Generator. We read the official proclamation from the governor, declaring October 23rd, 2014 as Lights On Afterschool Day in Washington. The kids and families then explored a number of astronomy-related games and activities (did you know there was a partial solar eclipse on Lights On day this year? Even the sun and the moon wanted to celebrate!). We rounded out the day with cake and snacks.

We heard one of the kids, as she picked up her piece of cake, exclaim, “I love this place. This is the BEST DAY EVER!”

Thanks, Pacific Science Center, and ARC, for one fantastic afternoon, and for all that you do for kids afterschool!

Walla Walla Youth Touch the Sky

Youth in Walla Walla launched weather balloons to the edge of space.

On a blustery and rainy Thursday afternoon, Walla Walla Public Schools’ five 21st CCLC centers came together to celebrate Lights On Afterschool 2014 with a simultaneous weather balloon launch. Led by Walla Walla High School’s 21st CCLC “balloon ambassadors,” 75 after school students from Blue Ridge Elementary, Garrison Middle School, Pioneer Middle School, and Lincoln High School successful launched 4 weather balloons into the stratosphere in front of an audience of parents, community members, city officials, and state and federal legislative aides. Each balloon carried a time-capsule payload with unique items from each center. Based on student projections using mathematic algorithms factoring in launch day weather data and ascent rate, the time-capsules were expected to crest 100,000ft in altitude and eventually land in the mountains of Idaho and Montana (approx. 400 miles away). View the video of the launch.

Would you like to replicate the weather balloon launch in your program. Keep your eyes open for news about a training in the winter to find out how you can do this in your program.

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