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.
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.
a cool Video Clip about Futures in Space!
The following video clip was taken from a video about the Futures
in Space Program, which was produced by Boeing.
Word About Futures In Space from Boeing
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
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 below: Richard Acosa, age 13, Michelle
Knight, age 13, Melanie Clement, age 14, and Sam Nou,
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:
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."
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."
(courtesy of The Futures in Space Resource Packet from Bellflower Middle School)
For more information about Amazing Kids!, please contact Alyse Rome, Executive Director, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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