Teacher shares her fascination with space
Moon rocks will be available for public view from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday in the lunchroom at Grand Mesa Middle School, 585 31 1/2 Road.
Stacie Kuipers, a moderate needs teacher at Grand Mesa Middle who obtained and will show off the rocks Saturday, is one of a select population of people certified to receive the rocks on loan from NASA.
Kuipers took a three-day certification course while she was a student at Montana State University that taught her how to talk about, handle and display the rocks and earned her the privilege of being able to receive them on loan.
Kuipers said Montana State offers the certification course once every five years because the school has a partnership with NASA.
The rocks include one brought back by Apollo 15 and one by Apollo 16, plus a disc of six rock samples from the moon carried back by Apollo 11.
Kuipers has taken the rocks to a few local classrooms but wanted to show them to the public Saturday so more people could take advantage of the opportunity.
“I’ve always loved NASA and I’ve always been interested in exploring space,” Kuipers said.
“I’m sure other parents want to experience (seeing the rocks) as well.”
Kuipers said those who come to visit Saturday will be able to handle the rocks and experience them with whatever senses they choose.
“It’s amazing how many kids smell them and say they smell different from Earth rocks. At least they’re not licking them,” Kuipers said with a laugh.