CORNER BROOK There are times as a parent when you’d like to send your kids to space, even just for a few hours.
Well a group of J.J. Curling Elementary parents are working at doing the next best thing — they’re sending their kids to space camp.
Thirty-eight of the school’s 40 Grade 6 students have signed on for the mission. They’ll be accompanied by eight adults.
Brian Lowe is one of the parents spearheading the planning of the April trip to Cosmodome in Laval, Quebec. His son Peter is one of the participants.
He said two years ago a group of Grade 6s from the school went to space camp in Huntsville, Alabama.
This past June some of the parents who had children participate in that trip and had another child about to enter Grade 6 started talking about organizing another trip.
“Just because of the great experience they had the last time,” he said.
It’s that experience that drew so many of this year’s Grade 6s to sign up.
Ryan Applin, 10, said “I heard it’s really fun.”
He said all his friends are going on the trip and he was looking forward to it because “it’s a time to get out of school.”
But even more than that he can’t wait to experience zero gravity.
“I think it’s gonna be fun.”
That’s something Brayden Ryan, 11, wants to try too.
“Just to float, because I’ve never been in the air that long before.”
To take the group of 46 to Cosmodome will cost about $50,000 and to offset that the parents plan to do a lot of fundraising.
The trip and the fundraising were the focus of a special event at the school on Friday. The students watched a video on Senator Marc Garneau’s career as an astronaut checked out a picture Garneau sent the school that could be used to raise money for the trip.
They also launched an in-house fundraiser, “Pennies for Space.” Lowe and Peter constructed a model rocket that has been placed in the school’s lobby to collect pennies and other change for the trip.
Fundraising continues today at the school with a garage sale starting at 9 a.m.
On Oct. 20 the school will be the site of a bake sale at 1 p.m. and bingo game at 2 p.m.
Meanwhile, the group is also in the running to win a video conference with astronaut Chris Hadfield when he returns from space in May.
The J.J. Curling students have posted an entry in the Canadian Space Agency Photo Contest and people can visit www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/missions/expedition34-35/photo-challenge/photos-popular.asp to vote.