Class Act: Brushy Creek students explore space without leaving campus

Students at Brushy Creek Elementary School in Round Rock are getting to board a NASA shuttle and visit space without ever leaving campus, all thanks to their Command Center Transformation Room.

"When they walk into the space shuttle, they are automatically astronauts," parent and volunteer Carol Lee said.

Lee has a background in art and construction management and recently led a team of ten volunteers to design and build a NASA-centric space lab in one of the school's portable classrooms. FOX 7 Austin was there as a class of kindergarteners visited the room for the first time, walking through the "shuttle" and eventually into "space". 


Two Gifted and Talented Education specialists wrote up a grant proposal for the transformation room, and the Partners in Education Foundation delivered with an Excellence in Education grant.

"It's an amazing experience. It's an opportunity I wish I had as a kid - to be able to come in and really explore, loving space and getting engaged and stepping through the shuttle, being out in space," Jarrod Sterzinger with Partners in Education Foundation said. "They've engaged in VR and enriching that technology and the experience for our students - is an amazing opportunity - so I'm honored to be part of that."

Jacqueline Garcia, an instructional technology specialist at Brushy Creek, helps facilitate learning in the space lab, whether it's with a science class or a language arts class, through games, tablets and virtual reality goggles.

"Our gifted and talented teachers that put together this room have put a bank of lessons for our teachers to utilize so we can integrate our curriculum in our subject areas with all grade levels K-5," Garcia said. "Our kids are thriving when they're learning hands-on, when they're interacting with students, they're talking about their learning - so, this room gives them the opportunity to do all of those things."

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