Lunchbox gravity

This week I'm grateful to teach here on old feet-on-the-ground Mother Earth. As I begin to understand the complexities of dining in outer space, I'm so thankful not to have lunchroom duty on the space shuttle.

It's good to work in an environment where unzipping a lunchbox doesn't send Newton's red delicious apple floating about the room. And crumbs! Oh my gosh! Our newest preschoolers pulverized their Lunchable crackers and squooschy-mooosched the cheese slices. In space those cracker crumbs would be floating around the shuttle getting into vents, disabling sensitive equipment, and tickling astronauts' noses. I'll have nightmares about floating space cheese globs.

I hope making pretend space meal trays and pseudo-dehydrated food pouches has helped the children get an inkling about gravity. The project gave the kids a chance to practice fine-motor cutting and twisting skills. We exercised our pretending abilities when we launched our imaginary shuttle on a lunch mission. The project let me use some of the W.A.S.T.E. materials I've stockpiled, like plastic boxes, mylar ziplock pouches, and blue spongy packing sheets.

All those Capri Sun juice pouches in Earth kids' lunchboxes seem ready for blast-off. Our school just discovered the TerraCycle website, and we're considering enlisting in the Drink Pouch Brigade. TerraCycle produces new office supplies from collected empty drink pouches.

Click here for info about food in space. I hope the astronauts are tidy lunchers. O, say can you say your PB&J won't float away?

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

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