Monday, 15 July 2013

Day Three - Rocketry and Ablative Shielding

Wow, today we made our rockets. Using an easy assemble kit, we built our rockets, then using spray paint, decorated them. Obviously I coloured my rocket in gold and green to represent Australia! I Can’t wait to blast them off in the next few days.

This was followed by robotics! I love robotics – these little guys can be programmed to do so much in the classroom. We only had a short time with them, but a great resource for all classrooms.

I then met Ed Buckbee, who was a NASA public affairs officer during the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, and a spokesman for the early astronauts and the Apollo moonwalkers. He has been involved in the space program for over 50 years……and continues to work with the Space Camp educating students and teachers in awe of the fact that one of those little people will be on the Mars one day.

We then had to prepare an ablative shield for our little egg against a butane burner. Sadly our little egg-stronaut did not make it. Having a choice of several types of materials, we could choose items which cost possible points, such as copper mesh, sponge, cork, spack filler, aluminium foil etc. Unfortunately our shield did not work, and our egg paid the price! But some shields did work.

Another physical activity…..this time on the zip line flying 30 feet down into the water, I was first up, a bit scared, which soon turned to shaking fear when I realised I was going backwards! I screamed most of the way down, a lot of fun, but glad to be in the water. This was followed by a simulated helicopter sea crash. Luckily I survived this…..several times!

Now a question......How many people have stepped on the moons surface?

Our ablative shield being tested....sadly our egg didn't make it!

NXT Robots - From Legos's Mindstorm 

The stories that Ed Buckbee can tell you about all the astronauts!

Preparing for crash landing!

With fellow educator, after riding the Zip Line.

Day two - Shuttle Mission

Day 2

Shuttle Mission Day

Began the day with a some group physical challenges.  Within our groups we had to work out how to get across the Nile without getting our feet wet – the problem is that there were seven of us, with three planks of wood and only 10 blocks randomly placed in the river (Okay, it wasn’t really the Nile, just an area sectioned out! But it was really hard – our winning team was the fastest to ever cross!)

Professor Jay Graham gave an uplifting presentation about the different types of fuel used for specific parts of the shuttle flight. This was followed by a run down of how rockets actually work, including the different sections of the shuttle.

In the afternoon we went to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Museum. This was full of interesting facts and information. I squeezed into a capsule, which was actually bigger than that used by Alan Shepard in 1961, who was the first American to reach outer space! He was beaten in the race to be the first human to reach outer space by Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin by only 4 weeks. Did you know that these space journeys have helped us in our own lives? Such as GPS, and even Disposable nappies!(You will have to ask me another time the connection to the nappies!)

After a quick trip to Mars in a simulator I rock climbed a wall and abseiled back down!

Then it was time for the Shuttle mission! Decked out in my space suit – I travelled into space to complete our mission. With great team work and communication we completed our task and returned safely back to Earth.

Now here is a question? What part of the shuttle goes around the Earth? (Clue: It’s name matches it’s action!)
Climbing the wall - that was the easy part!

My new friends

Some of the rockets - see that bit at the very top......

....this is how an astronaut would be sitting on top of it!