With butterflies in her stomach and Dramamine in her luggage, Kemmerer third-grade teacher Rebecca Wood prepares for the final countdown.
“I get really car sick, so I don’t know how I’ll handle the gyroscope and antigravity chair,” Wood said. “The closer it gets, the more nervous I am.”
Wood is one of 250 teachers from 27 countries and 47 states to attend Honeywell Educators at the Space Academy program which begins today at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.
“I was very excited when I got the news,” Wood said. “I want to give the kids in Kemmerer the chance to experience the same thing as those kids that are close to NASA.”
Wood will participate in 45 hours of professional development as well as lab and simulator training.
“I’m looking forward to all the water activities,” she said.
Those include a parachute fall and zip-line into a pool.
While at the space academy, Wood will also be taking part in a shuttle mission.
“I was told we would be taking part in a shuttle mission,” she said. “We will be repairing a satellite and encountering the problems astronauts would, in the same simulators NASA uses.”
According to Wood, camp activities are directly tied to educating kids.
“Everything I experience there,” she said, “is an experience I can bring back to the classroom.”
Wood hopes to expose kids to science, math and reading, as well as career options when she returns.
“This is really for the kids. I want them to get interested in those careers, what careers are out there and if they want to pursue them.”
Wood has been teaching for 11 years with five years at Kemmerer.
She said the camp will put her in a new situation.
“It will be challenging,” Wood said. “My forte is writing so this is a bit different. This is probably going to kick my butt.”
The kids offered some advice and begged Wood to take them with her.
“They thought it was really cool,” she said. “I told them I would bring back pictures, plenty of pictures.”
See photos of Wood’s trip to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in an upcoming edition of the Gazette.For the complete article see the 06-23-2011 issue.
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