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East students celebrate Enrichment Festival with rocket launch

Rocket Festival at East April 24, 2019 -- Students at Vestavia Hills Vestavia East became unofficial rocket scientists during their annual Schoolwide Enrichment Festival recently.  The week-long event, which was planned and led by Gifted Specialist Angela Hollis provided basic information related to how rockets work, rocket demonstrations within each classroom with parent volunteer help, and culminated in 43 rocket launches (one for each classroom) on the field behind the school.

When asked why she chose “Rocket Science” as this year’s theme for the annual enrichment festival at East, Mrs. Hollis replied, “STEM and STEAM are such hot topics and hold the kids’ interest so well. We can really pack so much learning into these areas when we incorporate something as exciting as watching an actual rocket launch! I knew the kids would truly love this experience and ‘sneaking’ physics and spatial sense in would be easy.” One of her students actually wrote in his journal that he “felt like a real engineer learning about rocket science” and building his own rocket to share with the school.

“Our Schoolwide Enrichment Festival at East provides such a great opportunity for enriching, engaging learning for every one of our students each year,” according to Principal Mark Richardson.  “Last year Mrs. Hollis did another outstanding job planning this week by creating homemade planetariums in our gym where students could actually recreate constellations, and the year before that we had a robotics festival.  The kids love it, and I love the fact that events like this could spark a lifelong interest and possible career choice for each of our kids.”

The event is made possible each year, according to Richardson, by the tremendous support of the school’s PTO and their volunteers.

-- Submitted by Vestavia Hills Elementary East