I’m writing quickly from the airport in Salt Lake City, Utah. I’m soon to catch the second in a trilogy of flights that will end in Orlando, Florida, at 6:00am Thursday morning (how much sleep will I get???), and from there I will rush out to Cape Canaveral to be one of many lucky folks chosen by NASA to be part of their “Tweet-up” for the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. I haven’t written much about this here because I was never sure I was REALLY going to make the trip until the last few days. Things fell into place mainly because friends would not allow me to not go.
My school district has frozen all budgets, so even though this trip has huge educational possibilities there were just no funds available. But my colleagues at Powerful Learning Practice passed the hat (Thanks a ton guys!!!) and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach used her precious air-miles to cover my flight – a true angel! An anonymous contributor also kicked in and by that time I couldn’t say no.
I’ve spent the last few school days preparing my students to work through their blogs and Flickr and more to participate with me as much as possible … I would have Skyped with them or even Streamed video out, but no one at my school could help support that, and non of the substitutes I know that could pull that off were available. So we will be working together some now … but much more when I’m back. As Dr. Cannon at the University of Nevada, Reno always says, “activity before content!”
In addition, when I get back we launch a high altitude balloon … well really 3 at once … 2 using hydrogen gas and 1 (at my school) using helium. We are going to coordinate the launches so they are simutaneous. We are printing out the “High Hopes” people are sending us on “fortune cookie size” strips of paper and sticking them inside the balloons so when the balloon bursts the worlds “high hopes” will flutter down and become one with the Earth (it’s all very symbolic – and we are using a paper that will degrade very quickly). Well they are calling my flight … on to Los Angeles!
Learning is messy!