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Enroute Bitterroot

Blast off!

Jessica Anderson

Day 1: Travel Day

For the next seven days, I'm spending time relishing space with my fellow State Teachers of the Year. That's right, we're attending International Space Camp in Huntsville, AL! This experience will surely be a #spaceparty (this is our unofficial, official hashtag) worth following on social media. 

Becoming an Experienced Traveler

Although I'm starting to tire of traveling via air, I was fortunate enough to know someone in every airport I stopped in today. A network of remarkable educators is an awesome tool to have in your toolkit! It was great to see familiar faces and be met with hugs wherever I landed.

State Teachers of the Year (NJ, WV, MT, NV, and VA) meet-up in the Atlanta airport. Photo Credit: Natalie DiFusco-Funk, 2016 Virginia Teacher of the Year

State Teachers of the Year (NJ, WV, MT, NV, and VA) meet-up in the Atlanta airport. Photo Credit: Natalie DiFusco-Funk, 2016 Virginia Teacher of the Year

 

Welcome to Alabama

After landing in Huntsville, I knew immediately I wasn't in Big Sky Country anymore. As the muggy, hot air stuck to my skin I examined the water droplets lingering in the air. As I looked at the landscape, I observed areas of both flat land and rolling hills, as well as soil as orange as a smoke stained Sun. This place is not the 406. 

Although, Huntsville doesn't resemble home. It does have a spectacular airport displaying the culture of space in the community. I was instantly impressed by the murals and displays throughout the airport---it could be the location of a really thought provoking astronomy lesson.  

Load 'em up

Andrea Santos, 2016 West Virginia Teacher of the Year, and me in front of the Space Camp bus.

Andrea Santos, 2016 West Virginia Teacher of the Year, and me in front of the Space Camp bus.

As you'd expect for any trip to camp, we were driven to the University of Alabama-Huntsville dorms on a Space Camp bus. Although it wasn't plush, it did have air conditioning. Thank goodness! On our way to the dorms, we dropped off students who are lucky enough to be staying on the Space Camp campus in a building called "habitat." Something about this building makes me think about District 13 in the Hunger Games. I'll take pictures of it tomorrow. 

Space Camp Swag

Once at the dorms, we received our Space Camp swag. The swag includes a tee-shirt, backpack, name badge, and our own space suit. I foresee a space-themed Halloween 2016 in my future! More on the space suit tomorrow...

But for now, it's bedtime; I need to fuel up! Tomorrow is going to be quite the adventure!

If you're interested, check out the schedule of events here