Day 4 – Thursday

Alex and Tre have become good friends, especially during their time in the ISS. They cooperated and communicated so well with Mission Control that they completed almost twice as many checklists as were required in their mission!Amber scoots her way through the airlock, on her way to the exterior of the shuttle.

Using fancy diffraction grating, Alex and Tre identify unknown elements via the spectrum of color that they show.Because their team leader at Space Camp is from Australia, the Von Lions were treated to some vegemite (typically a paste made from vegetable additives and spices) Vegemiteontoast_large It seems like they weren’t fans.

Team Von Lions strutting their stuff (and their nation’s flag) with their Australian team leader.

Team Von Lions had the chance to launch their rockets that they built earlier in the week in a big, grassy field under a bright sky. All 3 USDB astronauts on the Von Lions team successfully recovered their rockets!

Brenda was one of the first to step up and experience the multi-axis trainer (MAT) today. The MAT simulates the feeling of re-entry, when astronauts are flipping and spinning. Initially, these simulators were boxes inside boxes (as opposed to the circular rings seen here). Because the MAT doesn’t rotate the same way twice, astronaut trainees don’t feel nauseated.

Wow! Is it already time for the Von Lions’ third (Charlie) mission!? In this mission, Itzel guided her team back to earth from Mission Control. She did a great job of keeping everyone calm and communicated effectively and efficiently with her astronaut team.AC worked hard in the orbiter, alongside his commander, to fly, guide and land the shuttle successfully (not an easy task!)While Itzel was in Mission Control and AC was in the orbiter, Khadija was out in space fixing a damaged satellite with the other mission specialist. In their Charlie mission, the Jolly Goddards had 2 amazing Mission Specialists (Amber and Brenda). Here they are, suited up and ready to go!


From Mission Control, Alex did an awesome job communicated with Amber and Brenda while they did their extra-vehicular activity (EVA) work on the satellite and exterior of the shuttle.

With all 3 missions completed for both teams, the Jolly Goddards had some down time and were able to rock climb. Naturally, the Utah students were GREAT at it!   Amber with two of her teammates, Kasmine and Kyle.Alex with two of his buddies, Tre and Thomas.

For one of their last Space Camp activities, the Von Lions and the Jolly Goddards joined forces and performed a Sea, Land and Air (SEAL) Operation. Each team obtained their objectives, after getting their proper camouflage and marking their faces with charcoal and ash to help hide themselves from the enemies, they set out to sneak to the tower, seize it, then escape into the woods undetected.




How excellent! AT&T donated nearly a quarter of a million dollars to help Salt Lake City teachers!

It’s an amazing act of generosity, a warm gift of inspiration and a HUGE help to Salt Lake City teachers; AT&T fully funded 162 projects on in SLC, to help teachers throughout the city, and to impact the future of nearly 18,000 students!

After a spouting of endless thank yous, SLC teachers geared up to implement their educational plans, and I was contacted by At&T as an “innovative teacher” and user of Donors Choose. The following interview, run by ABC4 (SLC’s ABC affiliate) resulted, and for the experience, I am truly honored and blessed.

So, another HUGE heartfelt “THANK YOU” to AT&T, and let’s continue to make a positive impact on our world!

Exciting news for the 2014-2015 school year!

The school year is about to begin and I’m thrilled to have lots of the same brilliant minds to mold as I did last year (I teach 7th-12th grade) but also to have 10 new students!

To make for a stellar year, I’m looking into experiments and projects to launch USDB into the Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering winners’ stand, to send students to Space Camp, and to incorporate innovative, interesting and engaging experiments all year long, utilizing Modular Robotics and Vernier Software as the workhorses of my science curriculum.

I’m also thrilled to announce that I’ll be returning to Space Camp in Huntsville, AL with several 9th grade Deaf students, but need your help to get them there. Follow this link to help support Deaf students going to Space Camp.

Lastly, I have joined Twitter and am hoping to raise awareness for Deaf Education as a whole, but also for science education as well. Follow me @DeafScience12 and help spread the word!