Posted by DailyDiapers on July 13, 2005 at 11:15 [188.8.131.52]
In Reply to: Re: Astronaut talk posted by Baby Val on July 13, 2005 at 11:05
With the help of some special guests Thursday, elementary students at Lisbon Community School went to the moon, Mars, Pluto and beyond — preparing for the day it may be their turn to blast into space.
"You are lucky because some of these spaceships are being built so that one of you little boys or girls may get to go to Mars," said Dr. James Garvin, chief scientist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the keynote speaker during a morning assembly.
"Those spaceships may not look like anything you have seen before," Garvin told the students in the darkened gym where they looked at slides of Mars, the moon and other out-of-this-world images.
Garvin was one of several guests who visited the school to help celebrate Space Day 2005 and use space-related activities to inspire and prepare the students for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
One aspect of Space Day is Student Signatures in Space, sponsored by NASA and Lockheed Martin Corp. Since it began in 1997, this program has provided students with the opportunity to send their digitized signatures into space, and for children to have a personal involvement with the crew and mission.
The space shuttle mission to carry this year's signatures will be selected after NASA returns to flight this spring. After the signatures return from space, the poster will be returned to Lisbon Community School, along with a flight certificate and picture of the crew that carried the signatures into space.
After the assembly, students broke into groups to hear presentations and participate in different events ranging from learning about rockets to looking through telescopes. Two first-graders talked about what they learned from John Weis, a NASA education specialist from the Goddard Space Center in Maryland.
"They launched this missile to see how hard Mars is and once, they launched a rocket into Mars and it broke — it is that hard," said Gerren Welch.
Andrew Knowles, another first-grader, said he learned that there are "these pipes, and if (astronauts) get hungry when they're still working — there are these straws coming out of their suits," so they can eat. "And also, they need to wear diapers... there's no potty anywhere," Knowles said.
Other first-graders from Mary Arndt's and Debbi Furrow's classes leaving Weis' presentation said they'd like to go into space, though one little boy adamantly claimed, "But I'm not wearing a diaper!"
One of the people responsible for putting the event together is Barbara Thompson, a teacher for the gifted-and-talented program at Lisbon Community School. Thompson said the schools have celebrated Space Day before in smaller ways. Now that the two elementary schools and the sixth grade consolidated into one new school this year, they've done it in a big way.
"I don't think it will stop here," she said. The school sent 37 student representatives to Augusta on May 2 when Gov. John Baldacci signed a proclamation declaring May 5 as Space Day in Maine.
On May 3, Lisbon Community School took 45 fifth- and sixth-grade girls to the Bath Iron Works office facility on Church Road, Brunswick, to attend a video-teleconference with astronaut Heidi Piper.
"It was so good for those girls," Thompson said, to see that you don't need to be a pilot to be an astronaut. "We just wanted to open the possibilities of math and science — it's not just for males anymore."
There were more than 50 guests invited to the school on Thursday, a list that included Dr. Peter Schultz, co-investigator of Deep Impact who talked to students about the mission; Brian Ewenson, director of education, Pima Aerospace Foundation, Tucson, Ariz.; Gordon Corbett, teacher in Space Program; Mike Weiss, science teacher and amateur rocketeer; Robert Burgess, solar system ambassador and member of ASSNE; Ron Dyer, a member of Mars Society who served on Crew 32 of the MARS Desert Research Station; Diane Bowen, science teacher and EarthKam teacher; EarthKam Team, students from Brunswick Junior High and Brunswick High Schools; Ron Thompson, amateur astronomer; Steve Adams, vice president, Bath Iron Works; Cmdr. Phil Dawson, representing Capt. Mike Stanton, Supervisor of Shipbuilding; Sharon Eggleston, New England Regional coordinator for Space Day Activities; Becky Cross, author; Lisa Phelps and Bob Elliot, University of Maine Extension Service, 4-H Technology Project; Jana Hall, Maine Space Grant Consortiu m; Gail Kelly, Maine State director and representative for Sen. Olympia Snowe; and Sen. Susan Collins.
Garvin, Eggleston and Ewenson also visited St. John's School in Brunswick on Thursday to help students there observe Space Day.