SIERRA VISTA — With a little help from a time machine and a lot of imagination, Center for Academic Success (CAS) students expect to share Thanksgiving dinner with special invited guests.

Friendly life forms and alien creatures from other planets — as well as a list of historic earthlings who have made a difference in the lives of others — have been invited to join the students for Thanksgiving dinner as part of a Sci Fi Fair, complete with a “2900 Thanksgiving in Space” theme.

Held on the CAS campus last Thursday, the fair involved projects from students of all grade levels and was filled with space creatures, planets from different solar systems, a cosmic food delivery, time machine and telescope for moon viewing. Every class on campus got involved and each grade level had a display area to showcase their cosmic creations.

High school teacher Elizabeth Doran came up with the Sci Fi Fair and “Thanksgiving in Space” idea.

“I am so impressed with the creatures, planets and menu items these students have provided,” Doran said. “We have some very talented students. They all contributed to the project and showcased a nice variety of items.”

Fifth-graders helped the school step back in time by creating a Dorito-powered time machine that allowed interview opportunities with historic people. They also invited their new historic friends to Thanksgiving dinner.

Jesse Owens, Sir Isaac Newton, Neil Armstrong and Oprah Winfrey are examples of some of the people students chose to feature.

“I think our fair is amazing,” said Aaliyah Gomez, a fifth-grader who chose Maya Ying Lin as her featured person.

“She created the design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and was just a 21-year-old college student at Yale University when she did it,” Gomez said. “She entered a national competition, and her design was selected out of more than 1,500.”

After interviewing and writing about Lin, Gomez invited her to Thanksgiving dinner with all “the normal, delicious food you expect for Thanksgiving.”

Earth science high school students discovered new planets, while their biology counterparts came up with life forms that could survive on the planets, based on the descriptions that were provided.

“Shim is a creature that lives on the planet Firefly, which is a warm planet because its atmosphere is made of neon,” said Aidan Springer, a fifth-grade student.

The word “Shim” was formed by combining “she” and “him” into one word, he explained.

“There is very little to eat on Firefly, so Shim eats glass and neon water.”

Thanksgiving dinner will be the creature’s first exposure to the kinds of food humans enjoy.

Third-grader Athena Lara said her class used their imaginations to create planets and food for a cosmic delivery. They even made brochures to go with the food items.

“This is one of the most fun things I’ve done in school,” Lara said. “I liked that we could be creative and make up our own food, even if it isn’t real. My planet was called Fantasy.”

One of the more “down to earth” projects that evening featured a telescope pointed at the moon. Students, parents and guests were invited to take a look at the moon’s surface and view the craters, some of them more than 2 billion years old.

“The kids really enjoyed working on their projects,” Doran said. “Many of them required some research to help tie into the science fiction theme. So the projects involved research and writing while tapping into the students’ artistic and creative side. And we were able to give the Sci Fi Fair a seasonal feel by going with a Thanksgiving theme.

“From the teachers, staff and children at CAS, we wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving.”


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