On Thursday, Gilbert Elementary preschool teachers Mrs. Currans and Mrs. Terrones had the pleasure to welcome Mr. Jim Christensen into their morning and afternoon classes to teach our youngest students about science, specifically the sun, the moon, and space.

A little background on Mr. Christensen, who just so happens to be the dad of Mrs. Anderson, our middle school and high school family and consumer sciences teacher. Mr. Christensen was a sixth-grade science teacher for many years before he moved on to be a Science, Math and Technology Director with the AEA.

After retiring, Mr. Christensen went to work at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida where he served as the Director of Education. At the Kennedy Space Center, he led a project designing a new education building named the ATX Center (ATX stands for Astronaut Training Experience).

Currently, Mr. Christensen  is the Director of Innovation for Aldren Family Foundation, an educational non-profit. He writes STEAM curriculum materials and projects, trains teachers, and conducts presentations for students, teachers and the general public.

Mr. Christensen’s vast knowledge and ability to connect with students was quite apparent yesterday. The kids were captivated, particularly when they went outside to see a homemade rocket launch! Anytime the word “NASA” was mentioned, their eyes got wide.

Mr. Christensen, thank you for spending some time with our students. It was so informative and so much fun!