Friday, February 03, 2006

Blogging from the Space Exploration Educators Conference

I have pictures and a few comments as promised. I'm already having a great time. As I mentioned NASA treats teachers as royalty. I also found a very nice hobby shop within site of the SpaceCenter. In addition, there's just about nearly every kind of restaurant within a short driving distance. Unfortunately, I found at that a short driving distance in Houston traffic can take up to 10 minutes, even if you're only going a couple of city blocks. I believe you can click on each picture to view it full size.

These retired NASA T38s adorn the entrance to the Space Center. There is a park behind them, but I took this picture from the street. To the right of this picture is the Johnson Space Center.

The entrance. It doesn't look like much from the outside but the bulk of the building is cleverly hidden among the trees.

Inside the SpaceCenter is a play area with space related activities for kids. I found this young lady puffing up her hair in the high air pressure demonstrator. High air pressure toys are a favorite of mine.

A full-size mock up marks entrance to one of the theaters. The theater reviews the missions to the moons, and then you take a tour through various Apollo related memorabilia, including one of the Apollo capsules and an actual moon rock you can touch! For teachers, NASA has a program whereby teachers can check out actual moon rock samples. I have never done this because 1)I haven't taken the certification cours required to check them out and 2)my school lacks the required high security safe to store them in.

This is a Geobat. Atlanta city schools have chosen the Geobat design to teach students about aerodynamics and design. The inventor of the Geobat, Jack M. Jones, was in attendance and he is a fellow R/C Modeler. He will be featured in an upcoming show on the Discovery Channel but I don't have all the information. We built Geobat gliders, out of the same materials my friend and I build our electric planes from, and then tested them in some really high winds.

This is a Geobat glider in flight. Mine required 4 large washers in the front, as did most people's, to achieve the proper center of gravity. Jack expressed his disappointment that a fellow R/C Modeler had not been able to plan for proper CG location without the addition of extra weight, but hey, I HATE sanding.

Finally, a model I made of Saturn using a 3" styrofoam ball, an AOL CD, and waaaay too much glitter glue. It's primary purpose is to serve as a model of Saturn. It's secondary purpose seems to be that of "babe magnet", at least to Science educators. I had more women stop and talk to me about it than have talked to me in the last 3 years. I don't know if it was the handsome man holding it, or the spectacular use of the aforemention glitter glue. Or it could have been simply, as one Science teacher babe put it, "Oooo, shiny!"


EHT said...

Thanks for the pictures. I wish I could go on some great history conference like that and make shiny things. Do they only have so many slots each year? How do teachers get chosen to go?

Dan Edwards said...


Its the glitter glue. Females believe it brings out the little boy who needs their care.... :-)