Grade 3's Astronaut Project Launches Global Connection

An inspired Grade 3 research project turned into a touching connection that spanned the globe.

Yonatan moved from Israel to Beijing and joined Western Academy of Beijing in 2016. For the Grade 3's unit of inquiry into significant people and the annual "living wax museum" project, he developed an interest in Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut and part of the crew aboard the Columbia when it exploded upon reentry to the Earth's atmosphere in 2003. Yonatan researched Ramon's life, then dressed up and took on the character to present to his peers.

But Yonatan's project took off, and become a much larger journey than planned. His video (which you can watch below) made it all the way to Israel, where Yonatan's grandfather watched and forwarded it to Ramon's widow.

What happened next was why the word "Connect" is part of WAB's mission. Yonatan received a hand-written letter all the way from Isreal; Ramon's widow contacted him to tell her how moved she was by his project.

"The story about Ilan that you told the students in your school was both fascinating and inspiring," she wrote. "I want to thank you for that."

To learn more about how WAB fosters real-world connections, visit our Learn page.