Skip to main content

Reading, Riting, Rithmetic, Rockets?

You know me...I.Heart.Space. And, I also, love raising awareness about manned spaceflight [just look over there --------> at my sidebar thingy!]. So, I thought I would introduce you to a little organization that is aiming to get school-age kids interested in careers that require math and science [i.e. Aerospace Engineer :-)].



In order to appreciate this, you must forget all...well, most...of my opinions about manned spaceflight and NASA, because this new batch of teacher-astronauts are preparing to traverse the skies via private company spaceflight. The organization is called "Teachers in Space." Their goals include: 1) make it possible for large numbers of teachers to explore space 2) return Astronaut-Teachers to American classrooms and 3) provide teachers opportunities to impact the next generation by sharing their experiences, knowledge, and adventure. Their leaders include some of my role-models, Don McMahon and Colleen Howard. And their Board of Advisors includes such Aerospace Celebrities as Dr. Buzz Aldrin and Burt Rutan. And folks, they are really going for it.

NASA's previous teacher-in-space program did not materialize into it's original vision: to fly teachers in space and return them to the classrooms to inspire the next generation in the fields of math and science. Challenger exploded in 1986, killing the first teacher-in-space candidate. It took her back-up, Barbara Morgan, 12 years to convince NASA to let her fly, and in 1998 she became the first teacher-astronaut. But not all was well. You see Morgan had to give up her teaching career in order to complete the training necessary to fly as a shuttle astronaut.

The new "Teachers in Space" program aims at getting the teachers back in the classrooms with minimum training requirements, for maximum results. And inspiring the next generation of "Nerdy Aprils" ...well, I'm always on board for that :-)

And PS: The organization just announced on July 12 that they are taking applications for their next batch of teacher-astronauts! Tell all your teachers to apply!

Comments

  1. Thanks for your support, April. Just got back from 10 days on the Space Coast. We went to train our teachers in astronaut activities that they can take back to the classroom. We did vertical wind tunnel flight, skydiving (2 solo jumps), VIP KSC tour, and an Embry Riddle tour. We just submitted a NASA CAN grant application that will allow us to set up training workshops across the country. This whole project will happen in the next two years. In the meantime we are in constant pursuit of the ever elusive dollar. So giving us a plug occasionally really helps!

    Take care and stay safe!

    Don McMahon
    Education Director
    Teachers in Space
    don.mcmahon@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. dude... that (^) is freakin sweet...

    ReplyDelete
  3. April! Way to go on the TIS post! Don and I had an amazing trip with the Pathfinders this summer. AND we were just selected to receive one of the NASA CAN grants ~ WHOO HOO!

    Colleen Howard (Bennett is my space-aviation blog for K-3 kiddos)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Who has two thumbs and loves comments? Nerdy April!!! Type one out and hit publish!

Popular posts from this blog

The road to curing Type 1 Diabetes

From the moment of diagnosis, the road is rough, the learning curve is steep and the stakes are literally life or death. The map is less-than-helpful - paths originating from virtually every corner, coalescing at a center point (aka "diagnosis") and bursting back outwards - some paths cross and wrap around each other but others are isolated. And even with all of these roads, most of the territory is uncharted - how did we all get here and how will we all exit? Where are the obstacles we haven't found yet? Which passage holds the key to unlocking the solution?

On any given day I feel pretty isolated with this disease - I'm the only T1D in my group at work, the only one in mission control, the only one in my family. I go through the logistics of calling insurance companies, ordering supplies, changing sites and troubleshooting malfunctions mostly on my own. Even those pesky carbs really only get counted in my brain, no group think for a meal bolus here. But there is b…

Critical Space Item: Handle With Extreme Care

Someday I want to open a box. The box will be neatly wrapped up with an excessive amount of packaging. Its contents will have been years in the making, and even though it won't weigh much, this small box will represent a huge step forward.


As most flight hardware begins, the space-rated closed-loop insulin delivery and monitoring device inside the box will be sterile and stark. But as the batteries whir to life and insulin is placed within, it will become an extra appendage, an external pancreas, for this Type 1 astro-hopeful. Bluetooth connections will be made and doctors, hungry for telemetry from my bionic body, will be at the ready. We will rely on each other - he on I for his very existence, and I on him for my continued existence. Together we will make up one whole, completely functioning, Type 1 Diabetic astronaut.

Admittedly, this dream feels further and further from reality. I have lived with this disease just under 20 years now, and the cure has always been "just 5 …

On 20 years with Type 1 Diabetes

I think it's finally time to hit 'publish' on this post, considering it's been sitting here for, oh you know, like 2 weeks now ;-) Sometimes I "April" about things too much (this is Chris's term), and with my dad here for Christmas I realized that it's definitely a trait passed down, haha, love you dad!


To be honest, I never thought the day would come when I would say, "I've had Type 1 Diabetes for 20 years."

20 years ago a cure was 'just on the horizon' and as an 11 year old kid I took that phrase to heart - I had to. My continued existence was based solely on whatever the endocrinologist said - pancreas, insulin, autoimmune, blood sugar, islet cells, shots. I didn't know what I didn't know at that point. I had never heard of an insulin pump or glucose meter. Ketones and hyperglycemia were just big, meaningless words. Carb ratios and counting might as well have been formulas for travelling at light speed. I wasn't ov…
01 09 10