So I am getting ready to welcome my students back in my classroom tomorrow and the first thing I will tell them about is my space camp experience. I am entitling my little presentation, What I learned at Space Camp. So I will share some of that information with you.
1. I learned that this universe is so much bigger than my little part of the planet. Of course I knew that on a big scale, but I learned that from my teammates as well. We had a team of people from all over the world. I found myself not only wanting to know what they taught and where they were from, but I wanted to know things about their classrooms, their lives, and their countries. I found this true of the people from the US too. We were all teachers, but we were so different, yet the same! I don't know if that makes any sense at all?! We were all there for the love of science and the love of our students. It was fun getting to know these people that came to be part of our team. And through the magic of social media, I will continue to keep up with them in their lives!
2. I learned about teamwork! Everything we did, we did together. Some things were as a whole team and some things were in smaller groups. This is not always easy. As a teacher, I ask my students to work together frequently and forget how hard it is! It is give and take. Compromise! Personalities differ. One of the most important days was the day we did the ropes course. We had to work together and lean on each others strengths. It brought our team together closer then we were the day before. I will remember this in the classroom. Team building is an important time for building relationships and trust between students.
3. I learned to: make a rocket, make a heat shield, make a moon lander, set up a moon colony, and extract DNA! Some of the coolest things we did were the hands on experiments and simulations. I do some things in my class when I teach my space unit, but NASA has provided me with so much more for my space tool kit. These things are hands on, hit multiple learning styles, and are straight up COOL! Not only that, but the learning library was a wealth of information that I didn't know existed. I can't wait to document and do these things with my gifted students!
4. I learned to be more confident. At first I was a little afraid to speak up and hesitant during missions and simulations. I started thinking about astronauts. They can't be timid. They can't be shy. Mr. Ed Buckbee was telling us about the original 7 astronauts and how confident they were. There were no second guesses in space. You have to trust your instinct and trust yourself. I am getting there as a teacher. I have a lot to offer and I want to learn! When I was the communications specialist on our mission, if there was a problem, I had to solve it and be confident in my answers. When we were in the final minutes of our mission, the lander had an issue and I had seconds to solve it or they would crash. I am happy to report, that we had a successful mission and they landed successfully. I trusted myself and I did a great job!!! I am pretty proud of myself.
5. I am thankful. I could have never done this if it wasn't for the support of my family. My husband took on taking care of the kids so I could travel. My dad, his wife, my father in law and sister and law all watched the kids too. This wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for their help. I am thankful for my friend and partner in crime, Tackett. It was so much more fun and meaningful to have her there. We were blessed to be able to experience this together as educators, friends, and colleagues. I am thankful to Honeywell and their employees for this opportunity of a lifetime. I hope to inspire my students with the tools that I have gained and to help them to learn and love science like I do!
6. YOLO! Ok, I know that sounds lame and the people around us were sick of us yelling out this phrase over and over. But you do only live once. I did everything I could at space camp. Even when I didn't want to. Like the dropping ride. I hate those but... YOLO. You have to take life as it comes and make the most of a chance when it presents itself. I might use this phrase in the classroom too... :)
So there you go. Just a few of the things I learned at space camp. I am teaching my space unit to my 2nd/3rd grade gifted students this year and might through in a couple things for my older students too. I will continue to live my teaching life ASC and put these tools I have learned to good use. YOLO people!!!
This is Kelly...
Over and out!