Celebrating the Achievements of ChildrenÔ

Amazing Kids! of the Month

Amazing Kids! is proud to highlight the Amazing Kids! of the Month!

Each month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing things.  We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire other kids to accomplish their own amazing achievements. 

Amazing Kids! of the Month for September, 1998: 
Futures in Space students, Bellflower Middle School, 
Bellflower, California

This month we highlight the amazing work of the kids from the Futures in Space program at Bellflower Middle School in Bellflower, California.

Futures in Space is an integrated, themed educational program at Bellflower Middle School.  Three very dedicated teachers work together to teach the 8th graders about Space by using science, math, social studies and English.  First students learn about past and present life in their city, Bellflower, and then they learn about what it might be like in the future, living on a space station or on Mars. 

These amazing kids are also very lucky, because they get to work with real live astronauts on the Mir Space Station and with scientists from Boeing

Sticker from the Mir Space Station and Nasa Shuttle Mission

Students got to link up to the Mir cosmonauts who were up in space, and conducted their own science experiments on the ground, while the cosmonauts conducted their experiments in space.  They also get to take exciting field trips too, such as their field trip to JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) to see the actual Pathfinder practice area and a trip to the IMAX theatre to see a movie about space! 

Each month, the teachers pick the "Students of the Month," one boy and one girl. These hard-working students get to go to lunch with a real scientist from Boeing's Space Division and their principal and one of their friends.  They also got some special gifts, such as a real sticker (shown above) from the Mir Space Station and Nasa Shuttle Mission.

Working in teams, students learn about the habitat of Mars and build their own Mars colony habitat.  They also build actual models of space helmets, Mars rovers, a space station and even create their own "constitution" for their Mars colony.

Bellflower Middle School 8th graders show off their "space gear" designs

 The students really love working with the scientists and astronauts, and learning about Futures in Space.  At the end of the semester, many of the students say they want to become scientists or astronauts, too. 

The program was originally created with the help of Ginger Emry and Warrington Parker, of  Rockwell International and Rockwell's Space Division, which is now Boeing's Space Division

Learn More:

Watch a  cool Video Clip about Futures in Space
Read about the Amazing Kids! who received the Student of the Month award. 
Read about the Amazing Teachers who created and teach the program. 
Amazing Space Links on the Internet (courtesy of The Futures in Space Resource Packet) 

Cool Video Clip!

The following video clip was taken from a video about the Futures in Space Program, which was produced by Boeing.

A Word About Futures In Space from Boeing
    (AVI movie, 906 KB.  3 minutes to download with a 33.6 modem.) 

Amazing Students

 The Futures in Space program awards the outstanding Students of the Month, one boy and one girl (similar to the Amazing Kids of the Month! on this website!). 

Here are some of the Amazing Bellflower Middle School Students of the Month: 

Mr. Platt, Lavonne Amete, Mr. Collier, Richard Acosta, and Kenneth Preston, 
a Boeing scientist with the Space Shuttle program.

      Two of Mr. Platt's Students of the Month, Lavonne Amete, age 14, and Richard Acosta, age 13 are pictured above

     Four of Ms. Farber's Students of the Month are pictured belowRichard Acosa, age 13, Michelle Knight, age 13, Melanie Clement, age 14, and Sam Nou, age 14. 

Ms. Farber's Students of the Month:
Richard Acosta, Age 13, Michelle Knight, Age 13, Melanie Clement, Age 14, and Sam Nou, Age 14

     Two of Mrs. Rosenberg's Students of the Month are pictured below:  Leslie Coelho and Edgar Moncayo.

Mrs. Rosenberg's Students of the Month:
 Edgar Moncayo and Leslie Coelho

All of these students were chosen as the Students of the Month by their teachers because they worked hard, did an outstanding job and had a fun time and a good attitude while working on Futures in Space! 

According to Kristin Utupo, age 14, and a former Student of the Month from May, 1998, to become a Student of the Month, students must meet the following requirements: 

  1. Good attendence
  2. Hard worker
  3. No detentions
  4. Keep their grades up
  5. Work well with others
  6. Good attitude
One of the fun benefits of being a Student of the Month was taking a friend with them to have lunch with a Boeing scientist and their principal!  They also received a special Student of the Month certificate and a sticker from the Mir Space Station and NASA Shuttle Mission program. 

Students comments about their experiences in the Futures in Space program: 

"It affected us by making us want to try harder to reach our goals." 

"It gave me skills to help me prepare for my future." 

"It gave me a better idea of what I want to do.  That there's more to space than what you think." 

"It made me think that maybe I would want to become an astronaut or scientist." 

"It was a great experience.  We're one of the only classes that does clusters.  We get to do more activities than a lot of other schools." 

"Makes me think more about careers in space." 

"Boeing's help affected us because we were mainly doing things about space, and Boeing knows all about it so they could answer questions and teach us things." 

"When they [Boeing] brought the astronauts, we got a real feel as to what astronauts really did in space.  The videos showed us examples of space stations, Martian terrain, etc." 

Amazing Teachers

Mrs. Rosenberg, Mr. Platt and Ms. Farber,
3 truly amazing teachers!

Mrs. Rosenberg, an English teacher who is originally from New York,  has been teaching for 30 years, most of which has been in California.  She is very dedicated to teaching and to her students, and calls her teaching style "non-traditional." 

She says:  "I like to get kids thinking about the future. I like to take a 'group' oriented approach to teaching; I like having the kids work in teams, like we do in the Futures in Space Program.  Everyone is a winner in the program, learning new skills and work habits." 

Mrs. Rosenberg believes that this integrated teaching approach has benefited not only the students, but the teachers as well:  "The whole restructuring process which we underwent with Warrington Parker and Ginger Emry of Rockwell gave me the opportunity to go beyond myself.  It has allowed me further opportunities to branch out in other directions." 

Ms. Farber, a hard-working, student-oriented math teacher, is the Futures in Space project leader.  Her thoughtful, well-designed Futures in Space curriculum packet attributes much of the program's curriculum to the core skills found in the EFG Curriculum Collaborative, in Scottsdale, Arizona, developed by Barbara Barnes.   The resource packet contains an extensive appendix of valuable space resources, as well as great "Space Links" available on the Internet. 

In Ms. Farber's class, students love working on the Mars rover vehicles, models of the Space Shuttle and Space Station, and space helmets which are the exact dimensions of the real space helmuts worn by the astronauts on the Space Shuttle.  They also design their own space suit patches (similar to the sticker shown above.) 

One of the most popular learning activities for students is the "Phone call from Mars."  Students perform a skit in which they must add scientific facts about Mars into their conversation during an imaginary phone call from Mars. Students videotape the skit and they get to enjoy watching the video when it's finished. 

Mr. Platt, a dedicated social science teacher, works with students on building the Mars terrain, which is divided into 6 "habitats."  Mr. Platt enjoys working on the Futures in Space unit with his students, because he says "Teaching is never the same.  It allows us as teachers to step out of our role of being simply the 'leader,' into being more of a 'learning facilitator.'" 

Mr. Platt sees many benefits for students resulting from their experience in the program:  "It empowers students, enabling them to become lifelong learners.  It raises their interest level, and engages the students more in all subjects.  And the team teaching approach allows students a chance to find at least one teacher that they can relate well to." 

Finally, he points out one especially important benefit to assist with students' learning:  "The program really gets parents  behind their kids.  This allows the teachers to 'push harder' [to have higher expectations of students' work] because they are getting support from the parents at home." 

Amazing Space Links
 (courtesy of The Futures in Space Resource Packet from Bellflower Middle School) 
NASA Information Services http://www.nasa.gov/
NASA Online Educational Resources http://www.nasa.gov/nasa_online_education.html
Finger Gateway -- NASA Daily News Upate http://www.cs.indiana.edu:800/finger/space.mit.edu/nasanews
YAHOO Science/Space Links http://www.yahoo.com/Science/Space/
Mark Maimone's Home Page http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~mwm/space.html
Robert Lentz's Space Resources http://www.astro.nwu.edu/lentz/space/home-space.html
AIR & SPACE Magazine http://airspacemag.earthlink.net/
SEDS Internet Space Warehouse
(Students for the Exploration and Development of Space)
The Planetary Society Home Page http://planetary.org/tps/
--or try: 
Science Fiction/Technology:  Tools for Learning http://vesuvius.jsc.nasa.gov/er/seh/scifi.html
NASA K-12 Internet Initiative http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/
National Space Society http://www.nss.org
Mir Space Station  http://www.hq.nasa.gov/osf/mir/
Planet Earth Home Page http://www.nosc.mil/planet_earth/images.html#iif03
An Inquirer's Guide to the Universe http://www.fi.edu/planets/planets.html
"A Spacework in Progress" (Space Station Alpha) http://www.fi.edu/inquirer/alpha.html
Space Educators' Handbook http://vesuvius.jsc.nasa.gov/er/seh/seh.html
World Future Society http://www.tmn.com/wfs/
U.S. Spacecamp http://www.spacecamp.com
Challenger Center for Space Science Education http://www.challenger.org/
Mars (NASA) http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/planets/marspage.html
Mars (SEDS) http://seds.lpl.arizona.edu/nineplanets/nineplanets/mars.html
The Mars Project - An Educational 
Space Simulation
Mars Mission Research Center (M2RC)  - N.C. State University http://www.mmrc.ncsu.edu/
Center for Mars Exploration http://cmex-www.arc.nasa.gov/
Mars Global Surveyor  http://mgs-www.jpl.nasa.gov/
JPL Mars Pathfinder (External) http://mpfwww.jpl.nasa.gov/
Live from Mars http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars
JPL Mars Exploration http://www.jpl.nasa.gov:80/mars/
Mars Direct Home Page http://www.magick.net/mars/
Arizona Mars K-12 Education Program http://esther.la.asu.edu/asu_tes/TES_Editor/educ_activities_info.html
The Enterprise Mission Alliance
("Face on Mars")

Calling All Amazing Kids!  We Need Your Help!

If you are, or know any kids who are, doing amazing things, we want to hear about it

We will try to put your story on the website, or possibly in our educational television program, but please be patient...there are LOTS of great stories out there...but only one"Amazing Kids! of the Month" story per month.  We would love to be able to print everyone's storytoday, but it is not possible. 

Please be patient, and we will do our best to tell your story some day -- hopefully soon! 

Back to the Amazing Kids! of the Month Index

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