Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Alabama Legislators provided a week at Space Academy for Educators at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama! I met so many new and awesome teacher friends and have so much stuff to bring back to my kids in the classroom! My Harmony team leaders and the staff were the best and filled the week with more than I imagined! It was an amazing experience and you need to go!
It was an honor to be in the presence of amazing people in the space program. We listened to Ed Buckbee tell his inside stories of the Space Cowboys and share amazing behind the scenes photos of getting them to the moon. Space Shuttle Astronaut Wendy Lawrence wowed me with her stories of how she became an astronaut and her adventures in the space program. Homer Hickum, author of Rocket Boys, read from his book with emotion and inspired me to "aim high." Amazing people!
We trained like astronauts on the Multi-Axis Trainer that simulates the disorientation an astronaut would feel on reentry into Earth's atmosphere during a tumble spin. We also walked on the moon in a 1/6 gravity chair modeled after one the Apollo astronauts used for training.
We had two successful missions. One to the Space Station and one to Mars! It was super fun!
We survived being dropped from a helicopter into water like a splash down. Used our brains in engineering competitions where we made a lander and rover, built rockets and blasted them, wrote programming for a rover to go over Mars, and made a solar sail for our cubesat.
We had a blast and learned so much they graduated us. My team, Harmony, won the missions and received a special patch at graduation for our flight suit. We also created our own team patch, took so many photos and airdropped them we probably threw something off orbit!
I am now in the elite group of educators that call themselves Space Academy Alum! As Ed Buckbee said, "Keep the dream alive!"