"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body"
~ Richard Steele ~

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Day 5

Hudson Alpha

At Hudson Alpha we were able to try out the Genome Cache which is a scaled model of genetic information found on the human chromosome. The program will create a genome walk based on the distance your have available at your school. It was a great interactive model.

Each sign displays the information

Beautiful walk

NASA Class Activities

All lessons taught at Educators @ Space Academy and lesson plans provided by the educators aligns with National Science and Math Standards  A plethora of practical resources were made available digitally.

Ed Buckbee


Honeywell knows how to do a graduation party.  The ceremony began with each team coming up and receiving their certificate for completing the course. Earlier, the team leader made sure your name tag was upside down and easy to remove. Dan Oates would shake your hand and turn your name tag around...a gesture of completing the course. Teams that won the missions were also recognized. I felt that our Team Columbus was a winner for "Team Collaboration". I was blessed to be a part of this group and learned from each one of them.

The celebration after the ceremony was definitely an event not to miss. It was held in the Saturn V museum and included tables that were decorated to the space theme. The buffet was delicious as usual and included a chocolate fountain which I visited several times. How can you resist strawberries smothered in melted chocolate? The evening was filled with laughter, dancing and fun.

The little spaceman on the books were a nice touch

What an atmosphere

Music under the shuttle

Yes, Team Columbus...you will be missed


As much as each of us wanted to get home to friends and family, it was tough leaving your team that became your "family away from home". Each member of the team brought their talents and gifts to create a fun and interesting group that was alive with joy and laughter. I am excited about the connections I made with people around the United States as well as the world. I have learned so much from each one of the team members.

Cathy (Austrailia) Sirkkau (Finland) Pat (GA)

Cathy (Australia)
Sirkkau (Finland) Who was very patient with me learning to say her name :)

Serkan (Turkey)

Mayuri (India) Beautiful outfits
Liz (S. Africa) and yes, Ebony (Ohio) is in the background

Waiting for the bus to leave

Flying home I couldn't help noticing the clouds. Yes, I was the crazy lady taking photos out of the window.

And yes, we had to go around some storm clouds. It got a little bumpy along the way.

And it is always fun to people watch on the plane, expecially the flight attendant. What fun talking with him about his bling! Fun ending to an amazing trip.
Mr. Bling

Day 4


The "Eggs"prize challenged teams to build a rover and a lander for their "eggstronaut". Supplies such as water bottles, wheels, tissue paper, etc. were available to build with. The catch was that you needed to buy each of the items and the goal was to have your "egg" drop 15 feet without breaking. After the drop, the "egg" needed to roll down a hill in the rover. The team that did this successfully with the least amount of expense and went the longest distance won.

The Target

The Drop

The Rover

Lunar Mission

ECLSS - Environmental Control & Life Support System

The challenge for this experiment was to filter water that would be drinkable within a normal ph range. Options such as cheesecloth, charcoal, plastic bottles and lima beans were given as options.

Kate (MI) finishing the filtering

Pondering what to do with the green stuff

Rocket Launch

And we have liftoff... All of the rockets took to space, however, some did get caught in the trees.

So true!

A proud moment

Monday, June 23, 2014

Day 3

Day 3

Shuttle Mission

The first activity of the day was the shuttle mission. Rhiannin (TN) was the commander, Tessa (S. Africa) was the Pilot, Richard (KY) was Mission Specialist #1 and I was Mission Specialist #2. After entering the orbiter, the sequence of checklists and procedures began. Listening to the talk on the headset added to the excitement. "Roger, copy that!"

Crew in Orbiter - Rhiannon (TN) Tessa (S. Afrrica) Richard (KY) Sandy (WI)

Inside the orbiter  with Richard, Mission Specialist #1 (KY)
Rhiannon - Orbiter Commander (TN)
Entering the orbiter

Part of the mission was to leave the orbiter and go to the space station to assemble a structure. The moon suits were definitely hot to work in as well as slow moving. Our mission was to build a structure using metal rods and connectors. During the mission you sit in an anti-gravity chair that allows you to climb up the grid. My core workouts came in handy for this.

Climbing the wall to build the structure
Hang on or you will float off

Need teamwork to build
Ready for moonwalk with Richard (KY)

Richard and myself got the payload door shut after returning from the space station before taking off which had us concerned. Despite the fact that we landed in the trees, (Rhiannon really did fly accurately but the controls did not want to cooperate) the team had fun just working together on the simulation. I assume we did not gain any points due to laughter, but there is more to teamwork than a perfect landing.

Aviation Challenge Water Survival

This sounds scarier than it is.  The setting was designed to look like a military situation. A helicopter balanced on top of a 45 foot high drop, which was where the zipline began.

One of the challenges involved sitting inside the "mock helicopter" that sinks into the water. Your leader directs you to come out of the helicopter in a designated order to be able to swim safely to the white pole. As you are sinking, a panics begins but you are able to leave the "helicopter " safely.
Safely swimming from the "crash"

Another simulation involves gliding down a zipline into the water. you are 45 feet above the water. 

What a great view
My Zipline Ride

Hidden Universe

There was a quiet break in the day with an IMAX movie in the Spacedome Theater. What an experience as you sit back to view the universe through a new perspective.

Astronaut Simulations

The 1/6 gravity chair simulates the experience of walking on the moon.

The MAT - Multi-Axis Trainer simulates the sensation of being board a tumbling aircraft.

The simulations were something I did not want to miss. Actually, the MAT looks a lot scarier than it is...unless it continues to spin in one direction at the very end.

Lunar Base Challenge

Teams were assigned either:
  • Lunar Mining Facility
  • Medical Facility
  • Space Tourism Destination
  • Deep Space Telescope Facility
Using materials available (and a budget sheet) we developed a telescope facility. The intersting part of this was to create a creative presentation that would "sell" this Telescope Facility. My mind went back to 6th graders and we came up with a puppet show along with a new rendition of the Happy song. Thanks to Soi Chong Powell for the lyrics that the "Hubblettes sang. Kate Thompson did a beautiful poster and Liz Nelson came up with the best explanation.
The "Hubblettes"