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MISSION: S.T.E.M. has launched at BRE

Pictured left: Fourth and fifth graders at BRE are all smiles with their rocket, called Buffalo Boosters, during the November 13 Rocket Launch Learning after-school session.

By Caleigh M., BRE Ridgeline staff reporter

Forty students in third grade through fifth grade took part in the rocket launching session led by parent volunteer, Kathleen Pirazzi, and others from her company, United Launch Alliance. Students were divided into groups of six and were given pretend money to spend on rocket parts.  From there, they made rockets and using an air compressor, raced two at a time.  Pirazzi shared that science, technology, engineering and math are very important to our country as well as the teamwork students learn at events like these. “The event was a fun, hands-on program,” said Pirazzi.

Jeannine West is a new fifth grade teacher at BRE and is the MISSION: S.T.E.M. faculty lead. West is passionate about science and thrilled to have the program come to BRE.  According to West, science is important for kids to be curious about their world. “I’m always excited when kids discover things on their own (even if it’s with the guidance of an adult).  It’s much more exciting for a teacher to see that happening than to just tell students about it!  I enjoy “seeing” science through the eyes of my students – it helps me to appreciate the real magic of it!” said West.   

Fifth grade student, Lexie, signed up for the class because she wanted to learn about science and rocket launching.  Her team’s rocket had wings on it and it was wrapped up with paper.  She was most excited to see how far the rockets would go when launched.  “On the way up, our rocket exploded!” exclaimed Lexie.  

Some of the future MISSION: S.T.E.M. programs will be “If Rocks Could Talk” on January 15 and “Making Things Move” on February 12.  Each month after that the program will bring high school students in to volunteer their time and science knowledge by having them help lead classes.  “BRE students and parents seem very excited about the new MISSION: S.T.E.M. club at BRE,” said Pirazzi.  

For more info about MISSION: S.T.E.M., visit

On November 13, students at Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) learned about rocket launching through the new MISSION: S.T.E.M. program sponsored by the school’s parent-teacher organization. MISSION: S.T.E.M. is an after-school program that gets kids excited about science, technology, engineering, and math. These after school classes will take place each month and will lead up to the science fair, MISSION: CURIOSITY, planned for April 19, 2013.



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