Greenville students enjoy visit to science institute

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 9:05 pm on Friday, May 17, 2013

Cranbrook Institute of Science Director Michael Stafford explains to Baldwin Heights Elementary School students how the new deep-space telescope system works. Courtesy photo.

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Fifthgraders from Baldwin Heights Elementary School had the opportunity to spend a day at the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills on Monday — expense free.

The experience was more than exciting.

“To say the trip was exciting is an understatement,” said Baldwin Heights Elementary School Principal Michael Walsh, who accompanied the students on the trip. “I feel like the kids learned more in a day than they could in a week here at school with the amount of hands-on learning that took place.”

Cranbrook Institute of Science Director Michael Stafford said about 100 students, teachers and parents visited the institute and took part in what the facility had to offer.

Students spent the day participating in educational science programs, planetarium shows, special behind-the-scenes tours and more.

“All attendees also got to partake in learning about the history and physics of a trebuchet with a culmination of seeing a live-action trebuchet the size of a small school bus launch medicine balls,” Walsh said.

Stafford took groups to see the new upgrades to the observatory and new telescopes, remained with the group the enter day, Walsh added.

“(He made) it a very personal experience for out teachers and students,” Walsh said. “This was a special treat as Dr. Stafford is a graduate of Baldwin Heights Elementary.”

Stafford reached out to fifth grade teacher Mindy Hepinstall to make this trip possible after hearing about the educational program she put together for fifth-graders — the mini medical school — which partnered with Spectrum Health United Hospital to educate students not only about the human body, but the health care field.

“Cranbrook was able to offer the field trip at no cost to Baldwin Heights and will continue to do so each year,” Stafford said. “We also were able to cover the costs of the students’ busses.”

Walsh described Monday’s trip as one of the best trips the student body has had.

“The generosity of the Cranbrook Institute’s staff and the incredible activities, made this one of the best field trips we’ve ever had,” Walsh said. “I am looking forward to continuing this incredible partnership with our Baldwin Heights alumni in making this a yearly experience for our fifth grade students.”

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