SMART Museum Hosts Ellison Students

Ellison students try podcastingMuseum features popular gaming





















A new interactive museum that mixes fun and education with technology and STEM welcomed a group of high school students Thursday to try out a range of evolving exhibits.


The Ellison High School students, all tied to Career and Technical Education programs, spent the morning building podcasts, exploring virtual reality and gaming at the SMART Museum in Nolanville.


They also learned about water testing and firefighting and received a lesson from the visiting Killeen ISD Mobile STEM lab.


Not a bad day of school.


The SMART Museum is located at 408 10th Street in Nolanville. It already hosts gaming on a limited schedule and has free summer camps lined up.


Ellison astronomy and engineering teacher Charlie Gipson said he planned to take his students to the museum on a regular basis.


His students, he said, assist the museum in finalizing its simulations for the public, while learning by doing.


A variety of engineering students and students from teacher Joe Easley’s criminal justice classes made their second visit on Thursday.

Water testing


“We’re getting to try out the different STEM stations,” said Zovita Brikat, a senior. “We are doing some environmental science and virtual reality. I think part of it is to see what we might get involved in (beyond high school).”

virtual reality


She said she enjoyed the virtual reality that provided a look at what next month’s eclipse might look like.


“I like gaming, too,” she said. “It’s cool to see the PC set-up. I took environmental science. I like the hands-on experiments, testing the pH in water.”


The museum sits alongside Nolan Creek and provides easy access for water testing.


“We got to check it out before and see if we like it,” said senior Maggie Joiner. “We liked it all.”


She said during the visit in the fall she liked the law enforcement simulation and the podcast room. “We’re coming back to see what’s new,” she said.

“We did the virtual reality, learned about the eclipse, played games, explored what they’re doing here,” said senior Rhiana Johnson.


“We got to do some water testing to see how chemicals affect the water,” she said.


“I think it’s fun. We get to experiment and get involved in the ecosystem.”