Thursday, July 31, 2014

Aerospace Educator “Lands” at Advanced Academy for Educators in an Apollo Moon Suit replica

Huntsville, AL – Civil Air Patrol (CAP) aerospace educator Lt. Col. Kathy Beauford “landed” at the Advanced Academy for Educators at the U. S. Space & Rocket Center where she demonstrated a replica of Neil Armstrong’s Apollo Moon Suit. Beauford illustrated the application of “Lunar Nautics” and “A Field Trip to the Moon,” (both available from NASA Educator Resource Centers in each state), and distributed NASA and CAP aerospace education materials. She presented her A Teacher’s Companion to the Space Station: A Multi-disciplinary Resource.

Kathy Beauford, Director of External Aerospace Education for Louisiana,
demonstrates her replica of Neil Armstrong’s Apollo Moon Suit.

The Advanced Space Academy Educators trained on space hardware and ran missions based on real space mission scripts and caution and warning systems. Realistic Modules included the space shuttle, space station, moon rocket flight deck, and experiments lab. The teachers donned scuba gear and dove in the 30 foot deep Neutral Buoyancy tank to experience working on space station trusses and experiments in a Zero-G (gravity) simulation. They performed “Space Walks” to repair solar arrays and satellites. The educators trained on real astronaut simulators: the Multi-axis simulator which mimicked a space capsule spinning out of control, the 1/6th gravity Moon chair, and “pulled 4 G’s” (gravities in weight, simulating rocket liftoff).

The educators visited the Davis Museum with its array of historic space vehicles and exhibits illustrating the history of the space program. They also toured the Rocket Park with its extensive array of rockets from the U.S. Space Program.

They also experienced climbing the 30 foot “Pamper Pole,” while tethered for safety, and making a “leap of faith” while being lowered carefully to the ground by their colleagues. The Aerospace Educators brought their experiences, excitement, materials, and knowledge home to their respective states (and Australia).

The CAP Aerospace Educator Membership provides teachers with free STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) kits which include educator guides, software and hardware. These free STEM kits include Astronomy (Celestron telescope); Remote Control (RC) (simulators for 60 aircraft, control box, CD, and aircraft with 3 foot wingspan); Microsoft X Gold Flight Simulator software (yoke, throttles, and foot controls); Robotics (Robot Arm Edge kits); and Model Rocketry (rockets, A8-3 motors, launch pad, controller, curriculum, and video). $1,000 worth of free kits for a lifetime fee of $35!

The teachers request one kit; when finished the kit, the teacher can order another. See CAP’s 30 other national standards-driven free aerospace education offerings include the K-6 Aerospace Connection in Education (ACE) program; Aerospace Dimensions; Aerospace Education Excellence Program (AEX); Satellite Tool Kit (STK); Air Force Association “Introduction to Cyber Security”; CAP Teacher Educational Remote Sensing (CAP-TERS) Kit.

Also available from CAP are materials on Robotics, Model Rocketry, Advanced Model Rocketry, Advanced Math, Middle School Physical Science, Middle School Earth Science, The Space Station, and Remote Control Airplanes, to name a few. These materials are based on national educational standards. Teachers are also eligible for free orientation rides in CAP’s C-172 aircraft and actually get to fly the airplane. Teachers can also apply for Air Force Association grants of $250.

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 60,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs about 85 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 70 lives annually. Its unpaid professionals also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 25,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. Performing missions for America for over 70 years, CAP will receive the Congressional Gold Medal in 2015 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit, and for more information.

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