January 4

The Astronauts kicked off the year with their first physical training session!  From now on, they will be having workout sessions every other Friday with Cathy Ryen, youth fitness trainer and proud YA parent.  After the subsequent session with C in C, the Astronauts were given cups, rubber band and strings and had to figure out how to best connect them all.  Another exercise that wasn’t as easy as it sounded!

January 11

Today’s session continued the focus on communication, with an introduction to codes – Morse, mathematical, dictionary etc – and cryptography.  For today’s exercise, the Astronauts were given several codes they had to try to break, both individually and in groups.

January 18

After another work-out session, the Astronauts continued their lesson on communication and decoding.  They learned about the Enigma machine during World War II (which they had already seen in person at the Spy Museum during the Washington DC fieldtrip) and created their own decoder wheels to unlock a message.

January 25

Today’s session featured another field trip, this time to an escape room!  The Astronauts were divided into 4 groups of 6-7 and had 60 minutes to solve a series of challenging puzzles and codes to unlock the door and escape the room.  While 2 groups were working on their escape, the other 2 groups were working just as hard – on a midterm to test their knowledge of the materials presented so far.  Huge thanks to all the parents who drove and chaperoned (and enjoyed the puzzles as much as the Astronauts did!).