Students from Winthrop Avenue School in Bellmore had front row seats to view the earth’s surface when they participated in the Living Planet program, during which they learned about the solar system and the structure and layers of the earth. As an extension of their science and geography curriculum, the third-graders explored a 19-foot inflatable replica of the earth, known as the “Earth Balloon,” as part of the program.

Experiencing the same view astronauts get from space, the students examined the Earth Balloon in its entirety in their school gymnasium. The third-graders observed the silk-screened outer portion of the earth before entering the balloon to receive insight from educational consultant Rich Brundige on the position of the continents, the deep coastline canyons, waterways that flow through each of the continents, and the countries situated in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.