Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Heavy Testing and a Busy Day

Usually testing week is pretty laid back. Today was anything but. Testing took a lot longer than I thought it would. Not that this is a bad thing, I really feel like the kids are doing a good job of concentrating on the tests and doing their best work.

Part of the reason that it was busy was because I have been trying to schedule interviews with the Kansas City Star. They contacted me and wanted to know about me going to the space shuttle launch and the microgravity flight in October. Because of this I had to contact Northrup Grumman so they were aware of the interview. I actually got a picture of myself from the class I took in Colorado Springs in my flight suit. Not a great picture but at least you can see what the flight suit looks like. They also sent me a press release which I will post below.

Press Release:

Teachers Prepare to Soar as Northrop Grumman Foundation’s
Weightless Flights of Discovery Nears

Two flights from Colorado Springs Airport set for October 20

Program endeavors to inspire the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Sept. 12, 2007 – Martin Kelsey of Liberty Public School District in Liberty, Mo., will be among the 58 math and science teachers from six states who will experience weightless flights and share those experiences with their students as part of the Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery program. The flights will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20, from Colorado Springs Airport.

“This program is all about giving teachers the tools and experiences they need to show their students that math and science are not only entertaining, but can also be the basis for a fascinating career,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation.

The teachers will participate in a parabolic or zero-gravity aircraft flight, which creates temporary weightlessness, similar to what humans experience during space travel to the moon or Mars. The experience simulates how astronauts train for space flight.

To prepare for the flight, Kelsey recently attended a workshop where the teachers reviewed relevant science and engineering concepts and designed in-flight microgravity experiments to share their weightless experience with students when they return to the classroom.

Kelsey teaches 5th grade at Manor Hill Elementary School. He is the sole participating teacher from Missouri (or Kansas).

“Northrop Grumman’s work for the U.S. government is, at its core, based upon a fundamental understanding of science, technology, engineering and math, so we look carefully for opportunities to bring philanthropy to the education enterprise. This is a particularly special opportunity because we recognize and appreciate the critical importance of what teachers do to inspire our nation’s dreams and ensure the continuing success of our country,” said Tim McMahon, Northrop Grumman corporate lead executive for Colorado Springs.

The Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery program is designed to inspire students to pursue science and technical careers by first inspiring their teachers. Since being introduced in June 2006, the program has doubled in enrollment size; it now provides professional development to 480 current and future teachers. The Weightless Flights of Discovery program was created and developed by Northrop Grumman in cooperation with Zero Gravity Corporation.

This program is one of several initiatives that the Northrop Grumman Foundation sponsors in support of promoting education and student interest in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. To learn more about the Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery program, visit:

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

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