Friday, October 8, 2010

Teachers in Space! Almost. Sort of.

"2,000 Ping Pong Balls in Zero G, And Not a Paddle in Sight " (October 8, 2010)

"Here's something you don't see every day: 2,000 ping pong balls and 30 middle-school teachers floating around in zero gravity.

"This weightless snapshot was taken in the skies above Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, to capture a moment when teachers were demonstrating Newton's laws of motion for their students.

"The recent zero gravity jaunt was part the Weightless Flights of Discovery program, an effort to engage middle-school students in science and math. Weightless Flights, in its fifth year, is led by aerospace and defense firm Northrop Grumman...."

The Lemming prefers terms like 'free fall:' but that's probably nitpicking. Looks like the teachers are having fun - and recording the moment, in at least one case. A video would probably be best for classroom use.

Weightless Flights of Discovery are a sort of teachers-only version of what NASA provided on the Vomit Comet, back in 1999. (AVweb (September 6, 1999))

Bouncing 30 middle-school teachers and 2,000 ping-pong balls through these parabolic flight spreads the experience around - albeit vicariously. The Lemming figures that this looks like a lot of fun for the teachers - and will probably do until we have field trips for this sort of thing. Again.


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