What’s with all this space talk, you may wonder? Well, a few years ago, I probably wouldn’t have had even one blog post about space. But, now? Well, I’ve been to Space Camp.
In 2010, I had the awesome, amazing, and inspiring chance to go to Honeywell Educator’s Space Academy in Huntsville, Alabama for five days of professional development in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and math) Space Science extravaganza! My time there was unbelievable and I learned so much. Since that time, I’ve been spreading the word about Space Camp, even taking my own students on a trip to Huntsville. I have seen the way my own students are inspired by the chance to explore, dream, and discover in our learning experiences in the classroom. You can watch this video clip of our Space Shuttle party when Discovery launched in February 2011 and hear their excitement. It’s contagious. It’s what learning is all about.
Following my time at Space Camp, I began actively following NASA, and all things related on Twitter. I was lucky enough to selected to attend #NASATweetup for the final launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour. It was exciting to be there, standing at Kennedy Space Center, when Endeavour lifted effortlessly into the clouds. But, it was even more exciting to share it with my students back home.
That summer, I was able to attend the Space Camp Tweetup for the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis. It was the final launch and I was happy to watch it from the US Space and Rocket Center, where everything began. I started a classroom project that week… Virtual Von Braun. In honor of rocket scientist Dr. Wehrner Von Braun, I created this project to teach kids about STEM fields that are often not talked about. Sure, people talk about “rocket science”, but does anyone really share with kids what a day in the life of a rocket scientist is like? VVB has been to launches, labs, and even on vacation with a student. I’m proud that he is participating in everyday learning around the world and reminding my students what learning is really about.
My biggest hope is to inspire students and other educators to ensure that our next generation continues the tradition and triumph of our space program and continues to cultivate innovation. I love to give workshops on the great resources that NASA has to offer and share with other teachers the need to take kids to Space Camp! In 2012, I was fortunate enough to go to Honeywell Educator’s Advanced Space Academy in Huntsville. I wrote about the experience here and am forever grateful to Honeywell and Space Camp for supporting STEM education.
Keep reaching for the stars… and making sure your students do, too!