In an exciting five-day exploration of simulated space missions, Pinson Valley’s Lensey King and Pleasant Grove’s Harold White honed their teaching skills to teach with more authority and inspiration, June 20 through June 24.
Both of the industrial maintenance instructors were attending the Space Camp in Huntsville, with funding provided by the Alabama Legislature for giving every school district this summer opportunity. The instructors got access to the Space Academy for Educators’ website for lesson plans, the state standards, and tips needed for adapting many of the workshop activities to their individual classrooms.
The 76 instructors divided into six different teams for competing with projects during the week. The names of the teams correlated with rooms on the International Space Station, including Zaria, Kibo, Destiny, Columbus, and Unity. The two JefCoEd instructors were part of the Harmony 39 team. The Harmony 39’s 11-member team won the Commander’s Cup patch for excellence in engineering on their projects for the week.
In addition to meeting Astronaut Hoot Gibson and long-time executive Ed Buckbee, the take-away for Lensey was,” How vital teamwork is for accomplishing great things and the increased understanding that collaboration brings.” He continued, “Last year, China and India sent more students to the space camp than the United States. This camp reiterated for me the great resource our own backyard Space Camp is and the importance of using it for turning on more students to STEM subjects, science, technology, engineering, and math.”
Harold White’s take-away was “Our common goal was to become kids again and gain a solid foundation in aerospace technology. The opportunity was literally priceless.”
For additional professional development, Lensey King also spent four days at the Robotics Technology Park in Hanceville where he learned about the ABB, Mitsibushi, and Fanuc robots. Industrial maintenance includes learning about robots which paint, assemble, weld, stack, distribute, and perform maintenance functions on the Space Station.