Each student received NASA badge stickers, a Spaceology game, countless NASA posters, and NASA gym bags.
Some Grady County middle schoolers had a special start to the new school year, a video conference with NASA aerospace engineers. The sixth grade Honors Academy students at Washington Middle School spoke via Skype with the engineers from NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif.
“Today, we learned that the newest manned mission back to the Moon is called ‘Artemis’ instead of ‘Apollo’ to celebrate the upcoming first woman on the Moon,” states Kimsey Hodge, a new WMS 6th grade English Language Arts honors teacher and Odyssey of the Mind Coach.
Hodge’s son, Mason, is an intern at the NASA center and participated in Monday’s video conference, along with Dr. Natasha Schatzman, a graduate of Thomas County Central High School and NASA aerospace engineer whose team is developing a “Mars Helicopter.”
Schatzman explained that a UAV is an unmanned aerial vehicle. She “even broke down the root of the word ‘aerial’ to help us understand what the vehicles do,” stated Hodge.
The special experience will help the 6th grade Honors Academy teachers in addressing several upcoming subjects, they say, including, Greek/Roman mythology and word roots; astronomy; geography/economy of Europe including Greece and Italy; and discussions about the first physicists from Ancient Greece. Those teachers are: Kimsey Hodge (ELA), Sandra Vernon (social studies), Angel Ponder (earth science), and LaNesha Tyler (math).
“Huge shout out to Dr. Natasha Schatzman and her team for their time and especially for all the NASA swag they sent us!” stated Ms. Hodge. “They sent each student NASA badge stickers, a Spaceology game, countless NASA posters, and NASA gym bags.”
Danielle Jones, ALPHA/Gifted Academy Director for Grady County Schools, says Dr. Schatzman has also expressed an interest in holding another session in the future, this time with the county’s elementary school students in the gifted program.