Green Country Teacher Takes Space Experience To School

Friday, July 2nd 2010, 9:15 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Hundreds of teachers will spend at least part of their summer coming up with new material for the school year.

But one Green Country teacher got to live an adventure even her students' might envy.

When Atlantis achieves lift off, many little astronauts' imaginations leave the earth's orbit with it.

Jennifer Daftari wants to channel that awe into a love of math and science.

"So many times our kids don't go into them because really the true picture they get is that's just for geeks and nerds," Daftari said. "And what I try to show them is everyday people are scientists and engineers."

Daftari has often thought outside of the box to engage her students in Jay, Oklahoma; from taking her lesson plans right out of Popular Science magazine to delivering lectures on plate tectonics in 3D.

This time she's donning a flight suit.

"And we don't have things even like this museum here that we can go too," she said. "So I wanted to bring it back for my students."

She and 200 other teachers from around the world went to Space Camp. They got tossed and spun, dangled and bounced during a crash course at the Honeywell Space Academy for Educators.

"That made me very dizzy," Daftari said. "And I'll be honest with you, that's kind of a fear of mine."

They got to experience life in zero gravity and mission control during a flight simulation.

"Basically I was the one that got to say T minus four minutes and counting and I thought that was really cool," she said.

Daftari says some of the tasks were pretty tough but even that was another lesson.

"I also like to do that for my students to show them that I'm also scared to do things," she said. "But I take that step and I tried it. And I succeeded."

Daftari hopes her week at space camp will inspire her students to let their imaginations blast off, while their feet are planted firmly on the ground.