Thursday, July 14, 2016

Day 2 at Space Camp

We started off day 2 by working on our Mission Patch.  now, this might not sound that exciting, but it was really pretty cool.  Every shuttle mission has a mission patch to represent it, so at Space Camp, every team gets a Mission Patch.  now I don't know if I've mentioned it yet, but Team Columbus was AMAZING!  I really love our patch.  We threw around lots of ideas, but I love what we settled on...something that really represents each of us, but also our group as a whole.  We just got started on it this morning, and it took us several days to finish.
         The three sections around the edge represent the three countries on Team Columbus: USA, Turkey and China.  The US is represented by the eagle in the bottom section.  The eight stars above the eagle's wings represent the eight US teachers, and our names are listed around the edge.  The lotus flower represents out our Chinese team members.  The Turkish section has an "evil eye" in the middle.  Our Turkish friends explained to us that this represents protection from evil in their culture.  The two astronauts represent Elveda and Figen.  The middle section of our patch represents the entire group, and what we saw as the mission that connects us all together.  I think this was the hardest part for us to decide on....we had much debate about gears vs. rockets.  We decided on a rocket going from earth to Mars with the letters STEM inside, since this is what will get us to Mars.  I'm glad we decided on this design....Bill Buckbee's words stick with me.  Why haven't we gone to Mars?  Because no one has challenged us to.  I want to challenge my students to dream of going to Mars.

    Probably the hardest part was figuring out who could draw, because it turns out that none of us think of ourselves as very good artists.  Mostly Emily was the artist....I did get to help color (don't earth and Mars look nice???😊).
     We also got to go spend time at the NASA educational office and look at all of the cool lesson plans that NASA has available.
     Next up was one of the things that I was most excited about at Space Camp.....shuttle simulation practice.  The shuttle missions are now considered "historic missions",  since the shuttles have been retired.  But to me, I've known the shuttles all my life.  I remember where I was when Challenger exploded; I loved watching Space Camp as a kid, so this was it for me.  I had been assigned to be part of mission control, which was my last choice of jobs...but I ended up loving it!  I was basically in charge of monitoring the weather for launch and landing, as well as something else that I can't remember.  My role was called GNC! But I have no idea what that stands for.  I got to sit next to Kristen, who was flight director.  We were all pretty stressed out at least those of us on mission control were.  I think Luke and Bacon in the shuttle were pretty chill.  The notebooks you have to work off of are pretty confusing at first,and we were just getting that down when they started throwing "anomalies" at know,problems!  Let me tell you, we kind of sucked at the problems that first day.  It was cool, but kind of overwhelming too. Oh, and as weather girl, let me just tell you that it is 78 degrees with 25% visibility at Kennedy...I was very good at that forecast! Oh, and Luke was keeping it fun by showing us pictures of space monkeys!

     Leaving there we got to see some of the museum, including sitting on a space toilet.
     We also split up for other lessons this day.  I, of course, had signed up for the math lesson, and it was pretty cool.  Our task was to create a structure that could withstand Martian boulders being thrown at us.  In reality this entailed designing a Lego building that could stand in a gutter of dirt while balls rolled at it: baseballs, large bouncy balls, and basketballs.  Bacon's group was done quickly.  My group really struggled to find a way to withstand the basketball, but we kept at it until we figured it out.  I totally think this would be cool
to do at school with some modifications.....either varying the type of soil, or the slope of the gutter.
      Another part of day two was low ropes course.  This was mostly about teamwork, problem solving and collaboration.  The two main games we got to do were toxic waste and traffic jam.  We did ok at was interesting to get to see everyone chiming in to solve the puzzles.  Oh but the hula sounds so simple...just set it on your fingers and set it on the ground.  I mostly remember Deb yelling at us, "Down!" and "Why am I moving towards the woods?"
     Last stop of the day....building rockets.  Just another day at Space Camp!!!
      Ok, not sure exactly when we did this, but at some point our team also decided to film a team video....trying to win the HESA team challenge.  We had fun filming this (even Luke, who had to take the fall), and it still makes me giggle every time I watch it.

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