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Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Young Gifted Writer. Space Center Flight Director Wins NASA Grant. New Flight Directors. Space and Science News. The Imaginarium.

Hello Troops,
There are a few things to share with you today.

Allie's Poem. Not Bad for a Sixth Grader Who Happens to be In My Class at Renaissance.

First, a little fun ...
I knew Allie would be a challenge the moment she stepped into my 6th grade classroom in August.  She couldn't read or write conversional English, but could write her name if you started it for her. Her vocabulary was a combination of grunts, squawks, and a blend of gibberish accented with robust hand signals.
     "Good luck with that one," the teacher next door said when she saw her name on my class list.  "They couldn't pay me enough."
     "Listen, I'm a 30 year classroom veteran, " I replied.  "I've never met a student I couldn't teach."
 
Fast Forward two months.

     Allie wrote a poem that I'd like to share with you tonight. My hard work has paid off.  The doubters are proven wrong.
     Getting Allie to this point required resourcefulness, patience, bribery, and a steady supply of candy from the the classroom's candy bank.  I used everything in my teacher's bag of tricks and ponies to get her to the point where she could take a thought or two from her brain and put it legibly onto paper.  Am I an awesome teacher or what?

Allie's Poem:

I look behind me, tears stinging
Many a voice in my head are singing
I glance behind me again - why did I go?
from the only place I love and know. 
I turn around, hear the sound,
of bombs bursting upon the ground.
The cloud of turmoil, of dirt and debris,
Is the reason why I now must flee.  

Now the facts,
Allie is a gifted young writer who needs no lessons from me.  I told her I'd put her poem in The Troubadour, and here it is. Great Job Allie!

P.S.  I challenged her to write math related lyrics to that obnoxious Disneyland song "It's a Small World After All". She did it and the class performed it for The Troubadour.  Watch for the video in a future post.

Thomas Hardin, Former Space Center Volunteer and Flight Director Wins NASA Research Grant
Four Utah graduate students have a chance to make their marks on space exploration as part of the latest class of NASA’s Space Technology Research Fellowship. The program selected 65 students whose research shows potential for use in NASA missions. Thomas mentions the Space Center in the article. Read More

Two Long Time Space Center Volunteers Hired as 
Discovery Space Center Flight Directors


Scott Warner and Logan Pederson, both former Space Center volunteers, have recently been hired to flight direct the Columbia simulator at the Discovery Space Center in Pleasant Grove.  I stopped by the DSC yesterday and photographed them on the Columbia's Bridge.  There's a definite blue feel to the Columbia.  Could this simulator be in a never ending depression?  Well, if anybody can brighten the ship up, Scott and Logan can.  Good luck to them both from all of us here at The Troubadour.
Connor L. Caught Red Handed with His Paws on the 
Phoenix's Controls.
 I caught the ever present Connor L., messing around with the Space Center's Phoenix Simulator's controls on Saturday.  I snapped this photo the moment he realized he'd been caught.  
"What are you doing?" I questioned.  "You're not a Phoenix flight director.  I thought you only flew the Magellan?"  His bottom lip started to quiver.  I knew things were about to get emotional.  He struggled for words.  
Cadet Brayden
"If I may," spoke up Brayden S., a high ranking Farpoint Cadet volunteer who happened to be sitting in the second chair position. "Connor here is learning to fly the Phoenix.  Miranda is training him.  Of course that means I've got to do a lot more to keep this mission running smoothly and cover for his mistakes -"
"Are there many?" I interrupted.  Brayden rolled his eyes, giving the universal sign for 'are there ever!'.  I noticed Farpoint Cadet Jace sitting behind the control room in the dark.  "Why is Jace sitting behind us in the dark," I asked Brayden. "He has seniority, doesn't he?  Shouldn't he be sitting here working second chair?" 
Cadet Jace
Brayden cocked his head a couple times to indicate that he had something to tell me and he didn't want anyone else to hear.  I leaned over.  "Couldn't keep up.  Don't get me wrong, Jace is a great kid. He knows horses but complicated controls like this - too much for him. Best to leave this kind of work to real pros who know how to work under pressure." 
A thought came to me. "So you're our Ender Wiggins?" I thought out loud.  
"Well," Brayden replied in false modesty. "The comparison has been mentioned, but I couldn't possibly comment. I let people form their own opinions."  
Connor, semi petrified sitting next to Miranda with and her trusty clipboard
Just then, the real Phoenix flight director appeared and took her seat next to the semi petrified Connor L.  Miranda had her clipboard in hand to record her observations to review with Connor after the mission. 
"What's happening?" She noticed that Connor wasn't running the mission.  
"My arrival has shaken him up a bit," I replied sympathetically.  
"Shake it off shoulder." Miranda's voice very much resembled that of a drill sergeant.  "You've got a job to do, so DO IT!"  I stepped back and out of the picture.  I'd done enough damage for one afternoon.
  
Jon Parker showed me a new wall light recently installed in the Odyssey / Phoenix hallway. I told him it was worthy of one sentence in The Troubadour.  Now look - I've given him three and a photo.  
Think Geek Offers New TNG Hoodie.  Perfect for All  
Our Star Trek Fans.
     

 And now it's time for Space and Science news.

MR. W.


 Space and Science News






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ATV-4 undocks from ISS



ISS docking port view of the ATV-4 slowly backing away from the station. Credit: NASA TV.

The European Space Agency ATV-4 "Albert Einstein" has completed its mission to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. Early Monday morning astronauts of the Expedition 37 team were on standby as mission controllers from the ground operated the spacecraft undocking.  The craft had arrived on June 15 bringing a total of 7 tons' worth of food, fuel, and life support supplies to the ISS. Now filled with garbage, it will be slowly moved away from the station until Saturday. Then, mission controllers in Europe will fire the engine and direct the craft to a fiery re-entry over the Pacific Ocean.

For Expedition 37, this is a busy time of spacecraft shuffle. The Cygnus cargo ship was undocked last week, the ATV-4 removed this week, and next the astronauts will move the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft to a new port on the Zvesda module on Friday. This will clear the way for the arrival of Soyuz TMA-11M with three new crewmen on November 7. Following that arrival, crewmembers Yurchikhin, Nyberg and Parmitano will depart on Soyuz TMA-09M on November 10, ending Expedition 37.

Usually NASA posts high-resolution pictures of the comings-and-goings of spacecraft, but I haven't seen them post the pics from the ATV-4 undocking yet. I'll keep an eye out for that.

Mark Daymont,
Farpoint Educator

The Imaginarium
Ordinary, promoted to Extraordinary


I'd like to have this sign right over my desk in my classroom because answering these questions is pretty much all I do all day long.

Cool science center main entrance





A Vulcan's definition












I'll take a 32 ounce of Out of Control. 



Awesome Business Card




























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