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Scheck Hillel Hears From “Out of This World” Guest

Grade 5 students blasted off into the world of space with a guest lecture from Colonel John Kolb from the United States Space Force. Kolb spoke to our Lions about what the Space Force — our country newest military branch — does and the importance of outer space in our everyday lives.

The Space Force is an active branch of the American military, monitoring outer space to ensure no active threats and analyzing satellite data. Kolb explained that the Space Force focuses on navigation warfare, space domain awareness, satellite communications, military intelligence, and more. 

His presentation was captivating, and students were eager to participate, ready to show off their knowledge about outer space. The Grade 5 curriculum has featured lessons on astronomy, from cycles of the moon to planets in our solar system. In their studies students are exploring gravity, the distance from earth to the sun, and also looking for Judaic connections and stories that relate to space. Students are building a rocket lander that can land in an upright position and in a target zone, meant to look for ways to help the space program reuse rockets, rather than waste materials and resources.

“It was amazing to talk to a real space colonel, not just a civil person,” said Miley S. ‘31. “I liked that the presentation was so interactive and that we could ask a lot of questions.”

After his planned presentation, Kolb opened up the floor for a Q&A. He enthusiastically answered questions about the potential of eventually living on Mars (a challenge for NASA to figure out), whether astronauts get jet lagged after returning from space (yes), and what inspired him to study outer space (an engineering class in college, where he discovered a love for rocket science). Kolb explained that all members of the Space Force are called “guardians,” making him a real-life guardian of the galaxy! 

“He was showing off his uniform and his badge, and that just made my experience,” said Noam M. ‘31. “Learning about the Space Force was so fun!” 

Programs such as this bring the world (and space) to our students, exposing them to careers and fields for future exploration. Thank you to Col. Kolb for his time and to Mrs. Penchev for hosting.