Learning outside the test: Teacher witnesses rocket launch

Baldwin-Whitehall STEM teacher Debbie Reynolds is a participant in NASA's Space Educator Expedition Crew Program.

We're going to bet that Debbie Reynolds' seventh- and eighth-grade students remember an April rocket launch a lot longer than they recall the details of any standardized test they've taken this year.

Reynolds, a Baldwin-Whitehall STEM teacher, was one of 28 educators and other professionals to travel to Florida to witness the launch of the SS John Glenn from Cape Canaveral. The unmanned craft took supplies to the International Space Station.

A participant in NASA's Space Educator Expedition Crew Program, Reynolds also toured the Kennedy Space Center's vehicle assembly building, where rockets are built and stored.

She livestreamed parts of her experience for students to watch back home. Reynolds said she also brought many lessons back to share with her students, including her observation that different talents and fields of study are interconnected when it comes to space travel as with so many other life pursuits.

"Whatever they learn — whether it's ELA, math, science, social studies, art — it's all interrelated, and we need all those pieces to come together," she said. "... I want them to see the bigger picture outside the bubble we live in that there is a huge universe out there, and they are an integral part of that."


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