Stockbridge Valley Elementary School students found a little excitement in their school day Monday, May 7 as they were taken outdoors to see the crash sites of what appeared to be both a meteor and an unidentified flying object.

There, the students met white lab coat-wearing Dr. Nikola Erdivanski, or “Dr. Nerd,” as he inspected the damage to the school yard and probed the remains found inside the yellow caution tape that separated the spectators from the space debris. Meanwhile, SVCS seniors Dustin Bartlett and Elizabeth Collins worked a metal detector around the area to search for metallic other-worldly fragments.

First-grade teacher Nicole Byron was the mastermind of the other-worldly activity, saying she had seen a similar project in Australia. Because SVCS is a pre-K through 12th grade building, it gave the school the chance to have all grade levels involved, she said.

SVCS senior Jared Couture said his astronomy class made the meteor, taking a rock and adding papier maché, iron filings and paint to make it look like something that just landed from above. The agriculture business class built the UFO, he added.

“I think this will be really interesting for the little kids,” Couture said while watching the youngsters walk out to the pair of crash sites behind the school.

“It is great any time you can give the kids more of an interactive project like this,” said Mike Reeder, an SVCS class of 2003 grad who portrayed Dr. Nerd. “This is a real hands-on approach that gives them a better grasp on what they are learning.”

After witnessing the sites for themselves and seeing Dr. Nerd and his helpers in action, the children continued with the interplanetary study with some starry night creativity in their art classes, writing of both science fiction and real-life accounts of the experience in their English classes, singing extraterrestrial songs in music, and extended the experience as far as their physics, math and Earth science classes. The seniors also planned to come around and talk to the younger students about the event during the day.

“This was really a great way to celebrate being a pre-K through 12 building and get all of the students involved,” Byron said.