Help These Students See Their Experiment Launched

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Dear NASA Watch,

My name is Carolyn Bushman. I teach at Wendover High School, Utah's only NASA Explorer School. Wendover has 180 7-12 grade students. Last year I had the opportunity of taking students to the Wallops Fight Facility to see their experiment fly on an Orion Rocket. I met Pamela Ghaffarian of Franke Park Elementary, Multiage Classroom and she told me how NASA Watch had helped get her students to Wallops (see "Fix A NASA Error: Help These Kids See Their Experiment Reach Space")

Well this year I'm facing a similar dilemma Due to cut backs the sub-sem is no longer happening, but the NES brought my attention to a new opportunity of having an experiment flown out of New Mexico. My students submitted an experiment and got it accepted.

Earlier in the year I learned that students could be there to see the launch. I e-mailed to find out if there were going to be educational activities in addition to the launch. If it was just the launch I could not get permission to take the trip. Well last week I finally found out that the students in addition to seeing their experiment launched, students will be able to participate in the following: workshop about rockets, build and fly an official Estes UP Aerospace model rocket, tour the White Sands launching facilities, and attend a pre-launch and post-launch briefing.

I decided this is too good of an opportunity to miss for these students. I wish someone had given me these opportunities when I was younger. So I'm trying to give the students the once in a lifetime opportunity to watch the launch and participate in the other activities. I petitioned to the district to allow the trip to happen. On Tuesday, I received word that the trip can happen if I raise the money. My students have written letters and contacted businesses. I'm concerned because time is short. The students would need to fly out of Salt Lake on April 27th.

I'm afraid that the airlines rates will rise before I get the money to buy tickets. So I was wondering if you would be able to help make the trip happen. My district has committed $1,000 and I have gotten $300 from businesses around my community. Right now the flights are $325 a person, hotel would be $320 as I would have students share rooms, food would be $600, and rental car $250. My goal is to get all eight students who worked on the experiment after school to the launch along with two advisors so that both male and female students can attend. I would appreciate any help. My school is totally on free lunch so my students do not have a lot and I'm trying to teach them that education is available. Several of the students that are attending have never been on a plane. Wendover is two hours from any major city and a trip would be a real educationally opportunity.

I know despite the lateness, the trip can still happen if I can get some help. Thanks for allowing me to write and tell you about the trip. I look forward to hearing from you. The students will return to Wendover and do a NASA Family Night presentation so that the whole community can learn from their experience. I require students to keep a journal on the trip and we video tape and take pictures.


Educators Name: Carolyn Bushman
School: Wendover Jr. Sr. High
Address: 110 Wildcat Blvd. Wendover, UT 84083
School Phone: 435-665-2343
Carolyn Bushman Cell Phone: 435-757-5642
E-mail address: cbushman@tooelesd.org or darteacher@yahoo.com

My students got accepted to have a magnetic experiment flown in a UP Aerospace SpaceLoftXL rocket at Spaceport America located in Upham, New Mexico. I was proud of the students for coming up with the idea of the experiment and then conducting it using correct scientific steps. Last week I found out that in addition to seeing their experiment launched, students will be able to participate in the following: workshop about rockets, build and fly an official Estes UP Aerospace model rocket, tour the White Sands launching facilities, and attend a pre-launch and post-launch briefing. I decided this is too good of an opportunity to miss for these students. I wish someone had given me these opportunities when I was younger. So I'm trying to give the students the once in a lifetime opportunity to watch the launch and participate in the other activities.

I'm seeking sponsors who can help get the eight students and two advisors to the April 28th launch. This experience will help students realize that there are jobs outside of Wendover's Casinos. It is exciting to get students outside of Wendover and allow them to see additional opportunities. Several of the students that will be attending are from economically poor families and have never flown on a plane.

The students will fly into either El Paso, Texas or Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 27. Then they would drive two hours to Truth or Consequences where they will stay in a Best Western Hotel. That night they will learn about rockets, build a model rocket, and attend the UP Aerospace Pre-launch briefing.

Then next morning they would go to the launch at 6:00 AM, and after the rocket launch they would launch their own rocket. They would also do other activities, tour the White Sands facility and rocket museum. That night they would attend the post-launch briefing.

Then on Sunday they would fly back home.

While only eight students and two advisors are attending the launch, the impact of the trip will go farther. The students will prepare a presentation about their trip, and what they learned will be presented at a NASA Family Night so the community can also learn from the trip. We will invite our sponsors to attend this Family Night also.

The amount of money the trip will cost is the following. The round trip airfare is $325 a person and a total of $320 will cover the cost of the hotel rooms as the students will share rooms. There would be ten people going including advisors. So I'm trying to raise $3570 to make the trip happen (This does not include food or car rental). I would appreciate any help or names of other organizations that could help make the trip happen. It would be nice if I could also get the money for the car rental and food money for three days for the students.

I asked a couple of the students to tell you about the experiment and what the trip would mean to them. Sean a sophomore wrote: "When our NASA Club first heard of the experiment that would travel high into the atmosphere, we began to debate what sorts of objects high atmospheric pressures would affect. In the end, we decided to test magnetic strength. We bought six of three kinds of magnets (bar, tube, and cow). We placed a pile of papers with a paperclip on it between two desks. The club-members then took each magnet individually and ran it beneath the stack of papers. If the paperclip reacted we placed more paper on the pile. When there was no reaction from the paperclip, we counted the paper in each pile and recorded our data. After the data from each magnet had been tested and recorded three times we packed half of the magnets in a pie slice plastic container to be flown in the rocket. The other half we kept here as our control group. When the experiment is returned, we will retest all of our magnets and see how the atmosphere has affected our experimental magnets and how staying idle will affect the others. We eagerly await our final results!" George a junior wrote: "The hypothesis of our experiment is that after being flown in the rocket our magnets will have less strength." Jamahl an eighth grader wrote: "By going on this trip, it would provide us with the chance to see what sort of things we can do. It will expand our thinking and help us get better jobs." Anne a junior wrote: "We would love to have the opportunity to represent our state at the rocket launch. It has been a wonderful experience to be apart of the only NASA Explorer School in Utah. We want to be able to continue to learn all that we can. We want people to see how many contributions Utah makes to the science world. We also look forward to the opportunity of learning more about Aerospace and potential careers."

I appreciate any help you can provide to help make this rocket launch fieldtrip happen. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 435-757-5642.

Sincerely,

Carolyn Bushman

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