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Michael Hadfield, Corinth, NY Free LibraryDate: 04/09/2015
Category: Community Spotlight
By: Michael Hadfield
Michael Hatfield was one of 30 librarian and camp professionals that attended the Explore! training "Unknown Moon" in September 2013. This training was held in conjunction with the launch of NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE). Below is a summary of his experience and events his library hosted following the launch.
In the fall of 2013, I had the good fortune to be invited along with 29 other library workers from all across America to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia for a special training and the launch of a robotic mission to the Moon. The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) would spend weeks orbiting our nearest neighbor, collecting data on the Moon’s very tenuous atmosphere.
In addition to classroom instruction, the training provided hands-on activities, one-to-one conversations with the scientists and engineers and, of course, the incredible spectacle of a nighttime launch of a Lunar-bound spacecraft. In addition, all in attendance were certified to borrow lunar sample disks from NASA, giving us the ability to borrow and display rock and soil samples collected during the Apollo landings. The only requirement participants were expected to fulfill was to hold at least three programs on space exploration, and in particular, the Moon. During 2014, we held forty three, with attendance of 915 people of all ages.
Collectively called “The Moon…Rocks!”, our programs included workshops, school visits, live launch TV viewings, rocket assembly, many actual launches in our backyard, and the display and explanation of the “Moon rocks” for two weeks.
About the rockets…
I have been involved in Sport Rocketry since 1994 and am a fully insured member of the National Association of Rocketry. Since rockets are an obvious and vital part of space exploration, it seemed logical to add a few launches to this program, and so I carted his small collection of equipment to the Library for a couple of demonstrations. It soon became apparent that we needed more. We now have two launch systems and fifteen rockets and several more waiting to be built. In his recent 2015 school visits, Michael was frequently greeted with exclamations of “Hey, it’s the rocket guy!”
Sport Rocketry has STEM (or, as we prefer, STEAM) written all over it. In the process of assembling, prepping, flying and recovering our birds we touch on physics, math, engineering, design, meteorology, technology, chemistry, and yes, even literature and the arts.
We could not have done this without partners, of course. Corinth Elementary School and the PTSA, Booking It, SALS, MVLS, Stewart’s Shops, Saratoga County Youth Commission (our summer helpers!), Saratoga Train and Hobby (educator’s discount), Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department, Our Library Board of Directors, and oh, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, especially Andy Shaner and Eve Halligan of the Lunar and Planetary Institute.
I sincerely hope that more “non-traditional educators” will apply for the many opportunities that NASA offers.
This entry is cruelly self-edited! Please feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to hear the whole story!
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