Thursday, July 14, 2016

Day 5 at Space Camp

       Last day of Space Camp.....hard to believe how fast it went by.  We started off the day with a movie in the IMAX theater.  It was really good.  Awesome graphics, and like so much stuff at Space Camp, just awe inspiring.  I know this is going to sound really corny, but I think more than any particular lesson that I will take back to my classroom, what Space Camp really did for me was help me realize that it is not just my job to teach kids math...I need to inspire them to find it interesting, and achievable and worth it.  Maybe I can do that through the wonder of space, at least for some kids!
   Then we had some extra time to do what we wanted, so we spent some more time at the Museum.  They had a lot of cool stuff, plus a flight landing simulator (everyone but Bacon sucked!!!). Kristen and I were excited to find a display from the movie Space Camp (which we both loved) so we got a picture with our flight suits!  Yeah, I'm sure you can hardly tell me apart from Leah Thompson and Kate Capshaw.

     After lunch we got our chance to do the 1/6th gravity chair.....supposed to simulate a moon walk.  That is so much fun!!!!!   You got to do up and back twice.  So the first time you do bunny hop, then sideways hop, then "Baywatch" run, and then free choice.  All of the hopping is super can hop super high with almost no effort.  The run......hard Bueno!
       For one of our final challenges we had the x force????? Challenge.  In this challenge, we had to work as teams to build a lander and rover for an egg.  I was on the lander team.  It was set up like the other challenges,with a certain amount of credits,etc....   We were further challenged by the fact that Mandy was in a hurry to get us finished, so we had maybe 20 minutes for the whole challenge.  We built out lander from a folded piece of cardboard and a tissue paper parachute.  We were trying to work out some sort of harness to keep the rover in place, but pretty much ran out of time before we finished that.  The actual challenge consisted of dropping your egg inside the rover inside the lander from the second story.  You got points for survival of your egg and proximity to the landing zone (a hula hoop).  Given the small amount of time we had, we did well!  Our egg was unharmed, and we landed just outside the hula hoop, so we hardly got any penalty.  The rover didn't stay in place, but since the egg survived, who cares??!!
     We had heard at the beginning of the day that we would get to hear Homer Hickam speak.....Emily and Chasity were soooooo excited!  He was a great speaker, telling us about some of his experiences as a kid in a coal mining town in West Virginia. We even got a signed copy of Rocket Boys!  He also talked about his work for NASA and how he had helped build and teach the scuba part at Advanced Space Camp.
     Then it was time for our graduation.  It was a nice ceremony, and as they had throughout the week, Honeywell just made you feel absolutely valued as an educator.  Coming from a state that currently seems to hate teachers, I can't say how wonderful it was to be appreciated.  At graduation, we got our packets, which had our wings and our graduation certificates .  Plus they flipped our name tags.  😀.  The best part of graduation was the awards though.  Needless to say, we did NOT win the award for best shuttle missions.  Going into graduation, that was the only award I had heard about.  Turns out they also give an award for Best Engineering Team.  It is a patch called the Commander's Cup...and guess who won???  That's right.....Team Columbus!! All the stuff that we had done like ablative shields, landers, etc.... All counted,and WE WON!!  Very excited!
     Last thing was a graduation dance sponsored by Honeywell, and it was awesome.  Again, Honeywell really knows how to make you feel appreciated.  The whole party was at the Davidson center, under the Saturn V rocket.  Great food, good band, free drinks, dancing...need I say more?  Great way to end a spectacular week.
      The next day I had a few more hours since I did not leave until mid day.  Luke and Emily and I rode some rides, did some simulators, and goofed off, until it was time to say goodbye to Space Camp.

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