Saturday, June 25, 2011

Teaching From Space Flight Week Day 1 Houston!

Well we all arrived safely in Houston and yesterday was a successful start to our experiment set up and implementation on board the zero G plane.  We had physiological training in the morning, which started making me really nervous about all the possible ways you could get sick or be in pain. If you have air pockets in your teeth the change in pressure can cause severe pain.  Our ears could experience a lot of pressure due to the extreme ascent and descents.  Of course the vomit, but one I had no idea about was passing gas.  I know, it's gross.  However, it WILL happen and they said not to hold it in. Yikes! However, it is very rare that we will experience any pain or vomit if we prepare ourselves properly.  After that long morning of how we could be in pain in so many ways we headed to Ellington field.  We found out our team will fly on Thursday and Friday.  Beth Sanborn and myself will fly Thursday and Ronnie and Bejanae will fly on Friday.  There is also a chance that our alternate, Mary Lara, will be able to fly on Friday! We headed out to the NASA hangar where we would be setting up and testing our experiment.  I couldnt believe how big it was!  There were jet engines, all sorts of parts, a really big jet, work areas for the school, and yet there was tons of room to spare. The other school teams had some amazing (and elaborate) experiments.  I thought other teams wouldn't take our bubble experiment too seriously, but so many of them are interested!  Everybody loves bubbles!  Since we are in the B group we were able to go on the zero G plane (it is contracted by NASA for us to fly on) to check out where we would be working.  There are about 6-7 rows of seats in the back of the plane and then from there forward it is padded like a mental institution!  The floor is super soft and squishy to where I almost lost my balance. It was neat to see the set up of the plane before we fly so we can see how to set everything up and know what to expect.  On Monday we have the tough job of presenting our experiment to a bunch of engineers to make sure we are safe to fly.  It is a little intimidating, but I am more nervous for the team beside us with all the flammable and explosive materials!  I hope they are in the A group!  It is so cool though to meet and work with all of these amazing teachers from all over the country.  It is a very special and unique program that not many people get to say they have been a part of.  I consider myself to be very blessed and honored.  I am also really excited though because we have 5 alumni from space academy for educators! Four of us went last summer and Mary went in 2007.  It is amazing what one professional experience can do to change your life as a teacher.  Obviously, it affects others in the same way as well!  Stay tuned for Monday!  There should be a lot to write about and more pictures to post! Cheers!

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