February 3, 2003
Posted at: 6:20 p.m. CST
JONESBORO, Ark. -- As the nation mourns Saturday's tagic loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia, many Region 8 children went to school Monday not really understand the loss. At Hillcrest Elementary in Jonesboro, one teacher is offering her expertise on answering the questions asked about Columbia and her crew.
Amanda Herget is a teacher that relied on her NASA training on Monday. For the past two summers, Herget has gone to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. Her job there: Educate teachers on NASA and space exploration. Her job Monday: Helping her own students understand.
"Kids always want to know why," Herget said. "'Why did this happen?' They want to know what caused it. I'm just trying to make sense of it all, help them understand what could have gone wrong."
The students' questions ranged from the tiles that fell off the space shuttle to the debris found in Texas, and whether or not it was toxic. Luckily for them, Herget was there to answer their questions.
"We all need to find positive things in bad situations. I want the students to find something good out of this tragedy by asking questions and finding out more about it," Herget said.
"I think she a really has good way of explaining, how to put it in easier words for us to understand," said Madison Fowler, a student in Herget's class. "She's very good at explaining it."
One thing is for certain on Monday: Herget emphasizing to her students that NASA not abandon its space exploration endeavors.
"We shouldn't let the accident harm the way we go out into space and explore everything we don't know about yet," Fowler said.
Herget encouraged her student to visit the NASA website. While the site's information might be difficult for children to understand, Herget said that it is still a usefull tool for parents and teachers in providing information for those hard to answer questions.
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