Friday, October 21, 2016

Rocket Scientist

I'm going to take credit for the idea. The rest was up to Dean. Dean worked on the Saturn V project for NASA which designed and built the rocket that took the first humans to the moon. I thought it might be nice if he spoke to the grands' science classes if their teachers would be interested. Well, the teachers were Very interested. And so for three classes at the high school and three at the middle school, Dean spoke on the history of technology, what is happening today, and what will be available in the future that will impact the students' lives. 

At the high school, the student newspaper came to interview him and take some pictures, allowing the question at the middle school, "Are you famous and do you have paparazzi?" to be answered, "No but yesterday the high school newspaper interviewed me." The young man who was the newspaper photographer, told Dean he was amazing and inspiring because that was exactly what he wanted to do with his life. Wow. 
Questions ranged from educational preparation to if the moon landing was real to Area 51. 
Having not worked with teens in a while, I was interested in the fact that the middle school kids were much more engaged and fascinated. 

When Dean discussed the future of technology, he was able to point to the chart above his head that stops with millimeters and move on across the wall to include a nanometer which is 1/10,000th of a human hair. The kids loved the fact that their cell phones had more capability than the super computer which sent the Saturn V into space.

In one class hands were up almost before he reached the front of the room. They were all interested and engaged though. Some of them asked questions that used technical language, proving they had watched a movie or a documentary or read a science magazine. In every class Dean would ask who might be interested in science or engineering. In every class at least a few hands went up. Given that response and the nature of most of the questions, the future of science and technology is in good hands.


Mike Christie said...

Amazing! Encouraging. But we are talking about a progressive city in a progressive state. (I'm assuming you're still in Ashland.)

Tahoe Mom said...

Yes - we are home now and the grands are in Ashland. I was grateful he was allowed to do it and the teachers weren't having to "teach to the test" all the time. The middle school kids were really engaged. The high school more blasé. And several of Akira's friends told him they really enjoyed it.