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Verda James Elementary Soars to New Heights!

Astronaut Clayton Anderson visited Verda James Elementary as part of NCSD Discover Program. Anderson shared with students his stories and experiences as a NASA astronaut. One of Anderson’s many career accomplishments include being a member of the Expedition 15 crew and spending 152 days on board the International Space Station.


Anderson had students and teachers build an imaginary cockpit and shared with them the responsibilities and importance of each job and person aboard.


Verda James teachers work together to outline the dimensions of a space shuttle for the students.









By applying interactive learning as part of the NCSD Discover program students are able to experience education outside of the traditional classroom and interact with individuals such as Clayton Anderson.  Anderson presented questions about space proximity to teachers and students by positioning students around the library.








For every experience shared or question Anderson asked of the students regarding space science, they responded with many more of their own.




 “Can you whistle in space? My sister is almost 11 and she said you can’t.”                 “Yes, you can whistle in space.”
“What happens if you sneeze a lot in space?”                                                                     Your helmet may get pretty messy.”
“What if you run out of oxygen in your tank?”                                                                       “We are prepared with a 30 minute emergency tank for outside the shuttle. We will need to get back to the station asap.”
“Can you swim in space?”                                                                                                          “There is no gravity, so you can float…which is kind of like swimming.”
“Why does it get so warm when you’re coming back home?”                                     “Friction and speed cause the outside of the shuttle to heat up very quickly!”

Astronaut Clayton Anderson shared his personal commitment in his dream of becoming a NASA astronaut. Having applied to the NASA program once a year for 15 years, Anderson was accepted into the program in 1998. Verda James Elementary students practice the 8 Keys of Excellence in learning fundamental character principles. Commitment and Failure Leads to Success are two keys included in the program. Students were able to quickly relate the dedication and commitment Anderson had to his goal in their own experiences and education. When asked what they could learn from his time with NASA students excitedly declared that you have to “keep practicing!” and have “good effort!” if you want to succeed in your goals.


Verda James Students listen to Astronaut Clayton Anderson explain the science of determination and success!






Astronaut Clayton Anderson travels around the country sharing with students his career journey as part of NASA.




Students were excited to see Anderson’s photo in a Space Exploration book from their school library.


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This entry was posted on October 27, 2014 by in Home - Inside NCSD.

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