Saturday, June 20, 2009

Putnam Teachers Tour Shuttle Launch Site

Two Putnam County teachers attended workshops and toured Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on June 12, a day before the space shuttle Endeavor was scheduled to launch. And although the launch was canceled because of a hydrogen leak, the teachers reported they would be able to use the things they learned in the workshops in their classrooms back home and were "thrilled at the access they had to the shuttles Discovery and Endeavor." Janet Raines and Jennifer Diem, both science teachers at Burks Middle School, stood under the Discovery space shuttle as NASA employees were repairing her tiles and got a close-up view of Endeavor while it was on the launch pad during their tour of Kennedy Space Center. The tour was arranged through Congressman Bart Gordon's office. Prior to touring the Kennedy Space Center, Raines and Diem spent the morning in workshops. Diem said she and Raines began planning for their trip in the fall and was disappointed not to be able to see the launch, but says that safety rightly came first. Endeavor is now scheduled to launch on July 11. Her payload includes the "front porch" and spare parts for the International Space Station. The front porch will allow astronauts to conduct research outside the space station. Teachers interested in attending future shuttle launches should contact Joe Patterson at Gordon’s Murfreesboro district office by calling 615-896-1986.