As field trips go, Marmarth students didn’t have a long way to go March 12.

Instead, the science came to Marmarth and set up shop in the school gymnasium.

The students found fun in building and firing off rockets made out of straws and tape, while others built parachutes or drew a series of interlocking circles to create a geometric design.

Those were just a few of the stations the students had to choose from at the “Gateway to Science” field trip.

Among the other stations were straw architecture, Keva planks, learning how to build a closed system, candy structures and an air-powered vehicle challenge.

For Joe McKeown, who teaches fourth through eight grades at the small Slope County School, it was a chance for the students to discover fun in science.

“Whoa,” he said as students lined up to fire straw rockets at the door he was holding open in the gym. “We take the straws, put tape on the ends and then tape on the fins,” he explained as the straw “rockets” flew around him.

The teacher added that it was a way to teach the students a little about aerodynamics and thrust.

For some of the students it was a test of accuracy, others were trying to send the straw rocket out the door.

That didn’t mean the students didn’t have mid-air collisions or rockets flying off course.

The event was a great experience for the students, according to Slope County Superintendent Jackie Kathrein.

“This was a field trip with out leaving the building,” she said. But it was Bismarck-based Gateway to Science which made it possible, Kathrein explained. The van brought the science activities to the campus for the students, then packed up and headed for a school in New Town for the next day’s activities. The Gateway to Science is based on the Bismarck State College campus.

“Because we are a small school, they brought just 10 stations. Wee had volunteers to help run the stations,” the superintendent explained.

The Gateway to Science Outreach Director, Janet Rosario, is the one who is bringing it to the schools, Katherine said.

“It is trying to share with the students a spark of what the careers are that are related to the activities that they are doing,” Rosario explained. “We have rocket scientist, architecture and biology.”

According to the superintendent, it was the first time that Marmarth has done “gateway to Science.”

Kathrein said the students will still have a big field trip at the end of the year. “The upper grade kids have gone to Conservation Day and Marketplace for Kids. I thought it would be nice where we didn’t have to worry about transportation, lunch and all of those things.

“This was nice because they could just bring it to the school,” she added.

While McKeown and lower grade teacher Autumn Criswell handled some of the stations, Renee Totten, the school’s para-professional, along with parents and the school’s business manager also helping to man the science stations.

“We might be doing this every other year,” the superintendent added.

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