Wednesday, September 28, 2022

STEM Heat Shields

NASA is planning on sending astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972!

The launch was supposed to happen way back on August 29th, but since then has been delayed repeatedly.

The 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students spent a day learning all about NASA’s three part mission to send astronauts to the moon. Part 1 includes a flight test of the uncrewed spacecraft. Part 2 includes a crewed 21 day mission with a lunar flyby. Part 3 will be a crewed mission where astronauts will land on the Moon’s south pole.

The middle school students then learned about heat shields and their importance to the astronauts during their re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

Using a variety of materials donated by parents, the students spent the next few days working in groups to design and build a heat shield to keep their chocolate astronaut from melting due to heat provided by a hairdryer.


Students tested their first designs for a total of 8 minutes, or until melting of their chocolate bar occurred.

After initial testing students went back to the drawing board to redesign their heat shields and go through the testing process again.

Students then compared their results between the two tests to determine which materials provided the best protection for their astronauts.


Students had a lot of fun incorporating a STEM activity into our back to school activities that tied in with current events. We are still eagerly awaiting the actual launch of the Artemis rocket. The next attempt is scheduled for October 2nd!

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Technology Tools for Parents

Image by Luis Garcia Wikimedia Commons
Children are now growing up immersed in an online world. They watch their parents on their phones, older siblings are glued to their devices for both school and social activities, and they start playing online games at earlier and earlier ages. While the debate is still out on how this affects children long-term, the fact that keeping a child entertained on the internet can be a risky situation for their mental health and physical safety, unless the adults in charge have put necessary safeguards in place. 

Social media is one of the top places child predators seek out new victims, so it's important to both talk to your child about online dangers, and to set up parental controls to protect them. If you are a parent who is comfortable with technology, you probably have already put parent controls in place on all your child's devices, apps and accounts, monitor your child's online activity, and restrict their internet access. If you are a parent who is completely baffled by technology, and your 7 year old is your go-to tech expert, all these controls can seem overwhelming. What is a non-techie parent to do? Where do you even start? Once those parental controls are in place, how do you keep up with the latest ways for kids to bypass them besides fervent prayers to St. Isidore of Seville, the patron saint of the internet? (Yes, there really is a patron saint of the internet.)

Fortunately there are MANY resources available for parents, a simple Google search will bring up countless results. I'll point you to a few from organizations that are either currently in use at ASA, or that we've used in the past. Disclaimer:  ASA does not receive any compensation for any of the resources we recommend to parents. We share the resources we've found and used because we are passionate about working with parents to keep students safe.

Resources for Talking to Your Children About Online Dangers

It's never too early to start these conversations about online dangers and inappropriate content. Sadly, you'll want to have these conversations sooner than you think. 

Parental Controls

Which Apps and Games are Safe?

So your child has an iPad, gaming system or mobile phone, and they want all the latest apps and games that everyone else is using. How do you know they are safe?

How to Keep Up With New Tech?

Let's face it, our children have far more time on their hands than adults, and they are fearless. They always find the latest and greatest app, game, site, way to bypass parental controls, etc.

If you have questions or concerns, or wonder about the technology your child uses at ASA, please refer to this Technology in Use With Students page on our website, or feel free to reach out to me at

Many blessings,

Karen Szczytko (Sitko)
Technology Coordinator

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Meet Ms. Wiser!

The process of creating is joyful! I am blessed to be able to share that joy with our creative ASA children as the new ASA Lower Campus art teacher.

I’ve been teaching art, English and journalism for 31 years. I enjoy nurturing creativity and guiding artistic growth.

I was born, raised and reside in Grand Haven. I am an alumni of St. Mary’s in Spring Lake and Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. I have three precious, faith-filled daughters ages 25, 23 & 21, a counselor, a writer and an engineer. In the summer, I manage two municipal marinas as the Harbormaster on Beaver Island. Lake Michigan is my favorite place to live, work and play.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Meet Ms. Duflo!

Hello! My name is Lauren Duflo, and I am the new band director for All Saints and St. Patrick’s this school year. I will be directing the 5th-8th grade bands, as well as teaching general music for our 3rd and 4th grade students. This is my 2nd year teaching music! Last year, I taught K-8 music and band at Excel Charter Academy here in Grand Rapids.

I graduated from Michigan State University in fall 2020 with a bachelors in Music Education. While there, I was a member of many music ensembles, but my favorite was the Spartan Marching Band. I played trumpet and Eb Cornet in the SMB for 4 years and loved every minute. I got to attend every home football game, travel to watch UofM and OSU play, and travel for bowl games. A few other things I enjoy are hiking, kayak fishing, and reading.

I am very excited to be joining the All Saints community. Teaching band is my biggest passion and I can’t wait to share that with our students. It’s going to be a great year!!