Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SSDC12 Pics

I've thrown the photos I took at the NASA trip into a Google Docs collection, and made it accessible via the following link:

These are the just the pictures I took with my cell phone during the trip and competition.  Some are better than others.  All are captioned at the bottom to explain what you're looking at.  They should be in chronological order, top to bottom.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

SSDC12 Recap

I could not have been more impressed with, and proud of, our Newell-Fonda students who participated in the Space Settlement Design Competition at Johnson Space Center these last few days.  The following students went as participants:
  • Anthony Jacobs
  • Maggie Kime
  • Mike Dewey
  • Zoe Behrens
  • Joseph Mercer
  • Tanner Crotty
Mike Duitsman (participated in 2009 and 2010) went along as mentor from Iowa State University.  He was the only mentor accepted to go this year.  I went as chaperone and tech support for the competition.

All the chaperones and NASA personnel involved in the competition stated their opinion that this was the best group of students, the smoothest competition, and the highest-quality proposals they've seen a long time.  Several people down there went out of their way to talk to me about our students, and about our mentor, Mike.  They were impressed with their intelligence, knowledge, maturity, work ethic, and flexibility in the face of obstacles.

I want to make special mention of Mike Duitsman's contribution to the competition.  There is normally a person at the competition, a NASA employee, who manages the IT (information technology) end of things.  He maintains the database of students, splits them up into their teams based on results of an aptitude survey, prints out competition badges, and prints out certificates at the end.  This person came down with severe flu, and could not be there.  He passed all his information on to Mike and me at the beginning of the competition.  Mike and I got all the badges ready, and distributed to the teams.  After that, Mike took over completely, and served as the central IT guy during the competition.  We literally could not have operated without his help.  By the end of the competition, the NASA people were relating to Mike as though he'd always been part of their team.  I watched a NASA engineer, known for her sour disposition, chatting and laughing with Mike as though they were old friends.  It really was an amazing example of what we hope to accomplish with this program.

Congratulations are also in order for Zoe Behrens, who was a member of the team selected as winner in the competition.  She did a great job as a first year participant, we look forward to her taking leadership positions in future competitions.

Thank you to administrators, teachers, school board members, parents, students, support staff, and everyone else who helped make this trip possible!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Three Days and Counting

We're closing in on departure Thursday morning for the 2012 Space Settlement Design Competition in Houston.  Final preparations are getting done, and we're excited about the trip.

I'll be taking photos whenever there's an opportunity, and I'll post them on Twitter and this blog.

On Twitter, follow me (@limbert65) or search for the hashtag #nfssdc.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Clay Shirky on SOPA/PIPA

McLeod in India

Scott McLeod speaking at the American School of Bombay.

N-F SSDC 2012

Our NASA team leaves for the 2012 Space Settlement Design Competition at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas the morning of Thursday, March 15.  They will arrive back in Newell the afternoon of Monday, March 19.  Here is the list of students participating:
  • Anthony Jacobs
  • Maggie Kime
  • Mike Dewey
  • Zoe Behrens
  • Joseph Mercer
  • Tanner Crotty
Mike Duitsman, a two-year veteran of the program, will go along as a mentor from Iowa State University.  I will accompany the group as chaperone.

Here is the informational website for the competition:
I will be blogging and tweeting during the trip and competition.  I'll pass on the twitter hashtag when the time comes.

Schools, Youth and Internet Safety via @mcleod

Scott McLeod ( points us to articles dealing with the myths and realities of online safety.  Important reading for educators and parents.

Welcome Back!

I've had to move my technology blog from its old location, since we implemented Google Apps for Education in our school.  Hoping to get back in the swing of posting useful stuff.