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Enroute Bitterroot

Risks and Rewards

Jessica Anderson

We wrapped up the third day at Space Camp with an enlightening message from Sarah Brown Wessling, 2010 National Teacher of the Year. She challenged us to "impose uncomfortability in order to learn." Even though we didn't hear this message until after the events of the day, I feel like I successfully accomplished this challenge today. 

Lessons From Space

Kelly Stomps, 2016 Louisiana Teacher of the Year, works on the Solar System in Your Pocket activity.

Kelly Stomps, 2016 Louisiana Teacher of the Year, works on the Solar System in Your Pocket activity.

Team Kibo started our day learning from a NASA education specialist. He shared two great activities with us:

  1. Solar System in Your Pocket---putting the size of the solar system into perspective. This activity included many Martian references with little boy humor, as well as a great lesson on fractions. 
  2. Strange New Planet---a great observation and technology advancement exploration. This has soooooo many opportunities for differentiation, as well as extensions across every subject area. I loved this one! In the pictures below you can see what objects we had and our reindition from each of our observations. In order to fully understand, you'll have to click on the link and read the activity.

Aviation Challenge

This was the activity I was most excited for and also most worried about. After reading a blog post from a State Teacher of the Year from a previous year, I was concerned about the HeliDunk activity. The drama of her post left me doubting my abilities. However, reflecting on Sarah's challenge, I am very proud of myself for overcoming my fears and embracing the moments. 

I was fortunate enough to start with the HeliDunk. This activity simulates a helicopter crashing and the passengers having to swim out of one of the windows to rendezvous at a designated spot. By the way, apparently, it was my fault we crashed since I was piloting the aircraft. Oops, my bad! It was a great team exercise where we had to work together to complete the simulation. Although I feared this activity, I enjoyed it so much that I went THREE times. Check out the video below:

The second activity was the HeliLifter. Here we swam from our rendezvous point to a "helicopter" basket. There was cold water spraying out, but it was nothing in comparison to the temperature of the lakes in Montana. Also, I found it incredibly easy to climb up into the basket before being hoisted up. Maybe Beach Body Demand is helping build my strength. It was fun!

I wrapped up my Aviation Challenge with a slow ride down the zipline into the water. I wasn't nervous for this activity at all, even though it was four stories up. Last August my husband and I ziplined in Jamaica. The journey was much faster. This one was so slow that I ran out of things to do on the way down. I also had no problems letting go of the harnesses. I was happy to just enjoy the moment! Check out my ride below:

Wise Mr. Jay

Mr. Jay is a Docent for Space Camp. He had many stories to tell as we navigated the Davidson Space Center. He is a retired mechanical engineer and played a role in building many of the pieces of the Saturn V rocket. He had a wealth of knowledge to share with team Kibo.

3, 2, 1...

After lunch, team Kibo had a chance to work some of Mr. Jay's magic. We had the chance to build our very own rockets. Tomorrow, we'll launch them---I wonder how high they will go? I guess F=m*g will be the deciding factor. 

Mission Impossible or Possible?

Tomorrow we do our practice mission and receive our mission assignments. Will we be given the opportunity to "impose uncomfortability?" I sure hope so because learning is fun!