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Tommie Kunst Junior High Students See Rocket Launch at VAFB

Tommie Kunst Junior High Students See Rocket Launch at VAFB

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - The first launch of 2014 went off without a hitch this morning at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The Atlas V rocket carried a weather satellite that will be shared with the military and civilian use.

As usual, the event brought a crowd of people to the Lompoc Valley to see the launch, including local students who learned all about what was sent into space today.

Vandenberg Air Force Base representatives paid a visit to Tommie Kunst Junior High yesterday, part of a two-day experience for students to learn about the magic behind the latest Atlas V launch.

Teacher Laurie Johns says, "The purpose of this was for the kids to really see and understand math, science, engineering. They're all tied together, and this is a product of those disciplines."

Students went on the base this morning to see the rocket launch a $500-million military weather satellite. The process of learning about the launch and watching it happen follow the new way of teaching and learning being applied in California schools today. Common Core State Standards are taking place in classrooms all across the state of California. The school says that this presentation was a way to incorporate that philosophy into their classroom.

"Common core, the curriculum is so different. It's much more broad spectrum," said Johns. "When they get to actually witness and see, they see it in a reality and where it really applies."

Seeing a launch was a first for many of the students, one they won't soon forget.

"It was a real eye opening experience," said Johns. "The kids had a blast. I don't think they understood the magnitude of what they were going to witness until they actually stood on the bluff and saw this rocket take off and launch this satellite."

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