Wednesday, 01 June 2016 12:00

Generosity of elementary student out of this world; benefits school

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When Bow Island Grade 5 student Ayden Rooks heard that the the Astronomy Road show with the AstroDome from Calgary was going to be in Medicine Hat at the Esplanade May 31, but not coming to his school, he was disappointed.

The Road Show, which is self described as “a mobile planetarium that utilizes an inflatable dome and a high-definition (HD) digital projection system. It can project any type of educational programming and transforms the inside of the dome into an amazing immersive environment for the audience. The AstroDome is six metres (20 feet) in diameter and about 3.66 metres (12 feet) high. This is large enough to accommodate an entire class of students, yet it’s portable enough to be deployed to a different location every day. The planetarium can accommodate approximately 45 children or 35 adults.”
The AstroDome was in Medicine Hat May 31 as the Praxis Science Outreach Society was celebrating its 25th year of operation in southeastern Alberta.
They wanted to hold  a community appreciation event as way to thank supporters, volunteers and educators.
Rooks, who loves science and whose mom Patty is the senior scientific consultant with Praxis in Medicine Hat, wanted to have this interactive Road Show come to the Bow Island school.
It wasn’t budgeted for, but young Rooks decided to do something about it.
Rooks had earned the grades 4-6 award for Engineering or Computer Sciences Individual for a project called ‘Wind Turbines’ at the March 19 annual Kiwanis Southeast Alberta Regional Science Fair.
In true science teaching spirit, young Rooks donated the money he won from the science fair and put it towards the travelling costs so the Road Show could come a day early and visit the Bow Island Elementary and Senator Gershaw schools.
The gesture was well worth it as Rooks says the presentation at the school was “really good” and his classmates enjoyed it too.
At Praxis’ Medicine Hat event, an Astronomer was going to take patrons “on a galaxy quest to view far off planets, constellations and the amazing aurora borealis up and close.”
During the course of the day, the Road Show was at the Esplanade where students from area school districts were able to visit and take in the event.
What about that award and monetary winning presentation on Wind Turbines, which dot the Bow Island region landscape — why did he choose that as a science fair topic?
“I thought it was an efficient source of energy,” says Rooks of his choice.
Those in Bow Island are undoubtedly glad he did.

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor

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