November 28-December 8, 2013

South Bend, Indiana

Comets in the Schools

Posted by chuck // October 14, 2013 // in Events //

The Comet Festival went to the schools October 7-11, 2013.

The week started with words.  On Monday morning, radio newsman Mark Schirripa of WSBT Radio, News & Sports Radio 96.1 FM & 960 AM, reported on the upcoming school happenings.   (Three segments in one audio file.)

dickinson07886.JPGThen we literally went into the schools.  Thanks go to Candace Butler and canada generic levitra Tracy Slattery of the South Bend Community School Corporation (SBCSC) for facilitating and motivating.  Period.  With their help, the Intermediate Centers and Academies across the district each had a snapshot of a common event.  All SBCSC students in grades 5-8 assembled for a rally around science. 

Each presentation to buy prescription viagrabuy viagra in the uk the gathered students was somewhat different from the cialis overnight delivery next, but a common message (or intent) ran through them.  The incoming Comet ISON was going to have a close encounter with the sun on Thanksgiving.  The students were going to lead the community in embracing the comet's uncertain outcome through art.  It could be a nice comet--or a dud.  We'll watch nature unfold together.  We value what we celebrate, so we choose to celibrate science.  We value science.

dickinson07881.JPGSlides shown included some in the Comet ISON and the Comet Festival  slideshare at

After we surveyed the kids about whether a comet is a ball of ice or a ball of fire, we used a frozen turkey, donated by Martin's Supermarkets, to convey the image of a cold object going around the buy ultram uk hot sun.  Akin to the turkey illustration by 12-year old Dacota Schrader. 

dickinson07877.JPGThe Fargo desktop fan donated by Fanimation, an Indiana company, is ideal for demonstrating the "solar wind" that blows the comet's tail downwind. Thanks, Fanimation, for not hesitating when we asked for a Fargo fan.  I encourage donors to purchase Fargo fans for educators who request one for their own purposes. 

The highlight of each assembly was making the dry ice comets with the assistance of teachers or a student or both.  See the pictures in the accompanying slide set.  From one teacher's post later that day on social media:


A collective "Eeeeeew!" could be heard from just about every fifth, sixth, seventh, and eight grader at Navarre as we spit into our comet mixture.

With animated teachers taking the lead, we made lots of comets. "Ladies and gentlemen, Comet [Name]."  Meanwhile, teachers who took a comet-making workshop started presenting at assemblies in their respective primary schools.  Comet-Making Tip: the green bags donated by South Bend Silverhawks work best for molding the comet without getting bag seams caught in the ice. 

Thanks go to the corps of generic viagra 2 day delivery principals below who were receptive of the Comet Festival and are supportive of their students:

  • Marshall  IC;  Principal - Jim Bowen
  • Edison IC;  Principal - Libbie Lake
  • Brown IC;  Principal - Joe Somers
  • Jefferson IC;  Principal - Carmen Williams
  • Clay IC;  Principal - Frankie Beard
  • Jackson IC;  Principal - Margaret Schaller
  • Greene IC;  Principal - Sherry Bolden-Simpson
  • LaSalle Academy;  Principal - George Azar
  • Dickinson Academy;  Principal - Tom Sims
  • Navarre IC;  Principal - Derrick White



Thanks to the teachers who gave up instructional time in the classroom.  And thanks to the school engineers and the AV folks, especially Jeffrey, for adapting.

After Monday in the South Bend schools, comet advocate Chuck Bueter attended the propecia no prescription evening SBCSC Board Meeting in the Administration Building.  In the Hearing of Visitors portion of the meeting where the public can make comments, he thanked the school corporation for their innovation. 

supt_3181.JPGHaving an entire school district embrace science and the arts during a natural phenomenon is bold, for which the Board is to pill prescription propecia be complimented. Some if not all Board members likely didn't know about the slate of comet assemblies underway on short notice, for the administrators and lowest price tramadol staff were functioning as they should.  They were seizing opportunity.  At the Board Meeting, Supt. Schmidt was again supportive, having been introduced to Comet ISON at the Truck Pull and Community Faire. 

The skies have been clear and the moon small the genuine viagra in uk week of October 7-11.  On Wednesday, fifth grade students from Prairie Vista Elementary School, in the Penn-Harris-Madison (PHM) School District, met under the stars.  Can't say anything more, for it's a secret we keep.  It's a camp thing.

andrews07669.JPGAndrews University Observatory in Berrien Springs, MI, houses a nice telescope and mount under an old but proven dome.  Kelly Schmitt Youngberg has stepped up to make the telescope more used by and accessible to the community.  Before morning twilight, a few people have stood outside the observatory looking up as Jonathon snaps away with the camera hooked up to the telescope. Frames to stack. With serendipity on our side we watch long, low meteors--Draconids; remnants of lowest price propecia a comet.

Time is limited.  To lessen redundancy of effort, this story of the Comet Festival's week in the schools is told with pictures, not surprisingly, through the Comet Festival page on Facebook at

About the Author