Visit SpaceCampUtah.org to learn more about the Space Education Centers in Utah. Visit SpaceGuard.org and ProjectVoyager.org for information on joining a simulator based school space and science club.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Salute from Central's Sixth Graders. I Get More Crap on my Last Full Day of School :) Space and Science News. The Imaginarium

Hello Troops,
Wednesday was my last full day as a teacher in the Alpine School District.  I spent the morning at Central Elementary playing MC at the school's dance festival.  Wednesday's dance festival was the last for Mrs. Heder an myself.  Mrs. Heder has been the festival's producer and director for many years.  I've always been the MC (except for last year - I finagled my way out by scheduling a field trip on dance festival day).  The weather was cloudy and overcast.  The thick gray clouds wanted to rain out the festival, but didn't.  It was a dance festival miracle.

Half way through the program, Mrs. Heder asked for the microphone.  I knew something was up because the entire sixth grade was walking onto the field well before their scheduled time. 

"Mr. Williamson, you're coming with us," Marie Heder said from behind me.  She, along with a few other students from my math class, were there to escort me down to the playground where the other 6th grade students were waiting and saluting.  Mrs. Houston took the microphone and read a tribute  she'd written about me to celebrate and bring to a close my 30 year career as an Alpine District teacher.  I thanked the kids as she read the eulogy and told them over and over again how sorry I was they had to stand there and salute for such a long time :) 



I want to thank Mrs. Heder, Lorraine Houston and Central Elementary's families for honoring my life's work.  It has been an honor to serve this great community.

It is time to start a new chapter in my professional life at Renaissance Academy.  I've got my keys and my classroom (the London Room - how awesome is that).  Renaissance sits on the border between Lehi and Highland, across from Micron on the Alpine Highway.  I'll be the 6th grade math teacher.  I've also got the assignment to work with the Space EdVentures Foundation and Renaissance administrator's to create the new Space Center called Farpoint, scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.  If you think the Space Center is cool, you ain't seen nothing yet because SOMETHING AWESOME THIS WAY COMES..... 

I spent Wednesday afternoon at Shelley Elementary in American Fork.  I enjoyed my year at Shelley.  It was my sanctuary in a storm.  Every day, Shelley's principal and staff reminded me through their words, actions and attitudes, of how a great school should look and feel.   Shelley Elementary's positive, nurturing environment begins in the principal's office and radiates outward.  Mrs. Crandall shows her love and dedication to her students and staff through her actions, her laughter and her persistent smile.  You always feel better just talking to her.  The students of Shelley will miss Mrs. Crandall.  She too is retiring this year.

I had just rounded the corner near Shelley's computer lab late Wednesday afternoon, just 15 minutes before the final bell of day rang.  I noticed something brown on the tile.  Mr. Durrant was talking to one of his students.  The boy had his leg up so both he and Mr. Durrant could see the bottom of his shoe.
"Mr. Williamson, could you take care of this for me?" he asked.  "I've got my students here in the lab."
I looked at the boy's shoe.  It was obvious he had stepped into something brown and pungent.  I chuckled to myself and thought how fitting it was that my last duty as a 30 year veteran teacher in the Alpine School District was to clean the dog poo off the shoe of a young student.  I cleaned the shoe and gave it back to the boy.  He put it on, scrubbed his hands and went back to class.  I put on my orange vest for traffic duty and stepped outside into the bright late afternoon.

I love being a teacher.

Mr. W. 

Space and Science News  








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▶ Advanced Biological Computer: http://is.gd/LBZLIA




"An artist's impression of how a 'space diver' could look. Teams from Solar System Express and Juxtopia in Baltimore have developed a suit that could be used for space diving. It has been designed to be fitted with 'rocket boots' meaning the diver could jump from his spaceship in low Earth orbit and land without the need of a parachute. The designs are based on how Tony Stark lands and flies in the Iron Man films and a production model could be available as soon as 2016"




Despite our relatively recent arrival to this old and impossibly vast universe, we have made it pretty far in understanding the beginning (and the end) of the cosmos.

But in order to truly figure out where we're going, we must figure out where we came from, so here is a timeline of the universe. It will take you from the big bang, to the first stars and galaxies, through the formation of our solar system, and over all of the small things that happened in-between.

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Do You Call Yourself a Human?  Experts Say You Are Really Only 10% Human! 



There are trillions upon trillions of microbes living on and in the human body. To put this in perspective, Jeffrey Gordon, a professor at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, who studies the microbes that live on and in us, offers this factoid: "We think that there are 10 times more microbial cells on and in our bodies than there are human cells. That means that we're 90 percent microbial and 10 percent human.   Read More


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