February 11, 2015

Coolest Lesson Ever!

It has been a while since I've posted.  A lot has been going on.  As many of you know, my Dad passed away last week.  I can’t tell you how amazing all the Facebook messages, cards, flowers, texts, and phone calls were.  I truly appreciate all of them, they really helped get my family through a difficult time.  

I know my Dad was proud of me.  He hadn't talked too much for the last several months.  The day I told him I was taking a job at the Smithsonian, he got a huge grin on his face and said, “congratulation.”  There have been so many times, just in the last week that I wish I could call my Dad and tell him about something I've done, or something the kids have done (Like Bryce dancing through Wal-Mart with a stuffed animal fox singing “What Does the Fox Say.”)

Today is one of those days that I wish I could call and tell my Dad about.  I went to a local middle school today to teach a lesson on space suits to a class of 6th grade students.  We started the lesson with me going over what we were doing, then the kids built space suits that we were going to test to see how they held up against debris impacts.  As we got ready to test I stopped and told them that I had a special guest with me today (he had been in the back of the room the entire time with a jacket on over his flight suit), Astronaut Dr. Don Thomas a veteran of 4 space shuttle flights.  He came out and told the kids a story about debris cracking the window on not one but two of his shuttle flights.  He then helped test our space suits.  He was amazing with the kids.  He even brought along a space suit that had flown in space. This lesson will be a part of our next show which airs on Wednesday, February 18th.  I've got a lot of lessons that I really enjoy teaching (testing heat shields with flame throwers, heating marshmallows to show conduction, convection and radiation, micro-gravity, and how to go to the bathroom in space to name a few) but today’s lesson might have been the coolest lesson I've ever taught.  

Yup, those are potatoes.
They also posted the link to our last show.  You can watch it by going to: http://airandspace.si.edu/explore-and-learn/stem-in-30/archive/?id=15044

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