Indianola GEAR UP students visit O.K.C. Science Museum


WILBURTON, OK (May 11, 2016) – Indianola GEAR UP students recently visited the Science Museum Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.

The student’s first experience at the museum was the Planetarium show. Astrophysicist Thomas Arnold hosted and explained the new studies of gravitational flow. Students learned that as predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago, gravitational waves are fluctuations in the fabric of spacetime. They are produced by exotic astronomical events such as supernova explosions or the merging of two black holes. Jupiter and its four moons were visible through the projections shown on the planetarium’s rounded ceiling screen.

Arnold asked questions to the GEAR UP students, and they had very good responses. Dr. Arnold asked the students, “Why do we think there could be life on Jupiter’s moon known as Europa”?” Several of the students responded with good answers. Dr. Thomas informed students that if bacteria are found on a celestial body, it could be suggestive of some type of life on the planet.

Next, students explored the museum via Segways. They learned that the gyroscopic, two-wheel transporters are very fun to ride. Segways were introduced in 2001. Through a scientific process called “dynamic stabilization,” the human transporters use a person’s weight to stop and go. The museum has a track for every age to experience the Segway.

“The students really enjoyed riding the Segways,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Lori Douglas. “It was a first for all of them.”

“Destination Space" is a new exhibit area and has a unique collection of space artifacts including the actual Apollo Command Module Mission Simulator and much more. Students climbed aboard the Mercury Simulator and were viewed on television screens as they experienced the space ride.

Students said they learned a great deal and would love to go back to the museum again.

The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Participating schools take two field trips each academic year—one to tour a college or university and one that is cultural/educational in nature.

Indianola GEAR UP students at the Science Museum Oklahoma include: Front row: Levi Berryman, Madalynn Weeks and Ashley Free Row 2: Ty Smith, Zackary Lambert, Kale Parker, Madison Arterberry, Katelyn Oxford, Rena Dodd, Eva Bierman, Ethan Prince and Aryn Weeks Back Row: Dakota Thomas, Billy O’Dell, Paul Clark, Johnny Shields, Clayton Morgano, Alexis Odisho, Hannah Wood, Bailie Casler, Christina Griffitts, Reanna Allen, Linda Eldridge, Frankie Lovett, Kaitlynn Epps, Jessica Swartout, Kolten Peloquin and Morgan Sennett.

Indianola juniors Jessica Swartout and Kaitlynn Epps aboard the Apollo simulator at the Science Museum Oklahoma.

Indianola students Alex Dickey, Talor Suenram and Tony Stephenson stand on the oversized chess game after reading the strategies for winning.

Indianola GEAR UP students Reanna Allen, Linda Eldridge, Jessica Cunningham, Ashley Free, and Christina Griffitts wait to ride the Segways.

Indianola junior Johnny Shields poses as an astronaut in front of the Apollo 11 exhibit.

Indianola GEAR UP juniors Ethan Prince and Aryn Weeks get “shaken up” in the earthquake simulator.

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