Launch Day

From: (Charles F. Lindgren)
Subject: Launch Day
Date: Sat, 12 Apr 1997 09:08:15 +0100

Our launch day finally happened! We were dealing with a group of over 200
kids for this! We decided early on that we had to travel to a "remote site"
which involved busses, permission slips, and all of the other red tape
(actually there is a better word) that makes a field trip so much fun! The
kids were quick to realize that all 200+ couldn't go and huddle around this
shoebox so they decided to send two representatives from each class. The
only requirement we (the teachers) made was that whoever went had to be
truly dedicated to the venture, and not just be going to miss the
confinements of the classroom. Surprisingly only three or four volunteered
from each class, in one only two wanted to do it. Names were drawn from a
box, by a nonteam teacher.

Before we went everyone got to do the pet activity on school property. I
went out several days before the planned trip, and the other science
teacher I work with had to delay her trip because there was a blizzard in
the middle! Finally she took her kids out. It was a great day. Everyone
said it was worth the effort. Each class got to take five photos with the
disposable, and all of the collections, and readings were also done.

Our site was a beach located on the Atlantic Ocean. On a nice day it's cold
there. Well, our day dawned crisp (once again there's a better word) and
clear. We experienced a tie for the record low that day with a 20 mph wind!
When the bus drove us to the site, the driver agreed to stay so the kids
would have a place to go if they got to cold. A total of 18 out of the 20
visited the site, one never heard the announcement that the bus was there,
and the other had suffered a severe second degree burn the day before and
was grounded.  I was going to give a leasurely set of final instructions by
the Lighthouse with all of the kids sitting around. We did this on the bus
instead with the heater on. Then we went out to the site.

It was incredible! The one thing that both the other teacher and I
mentioned was that we weren't needed! The kids did everything on their own.
Now this was a HUGE site. It was the size of a football field with a jetty
cutting it in half, and kids venturing out a good distance into the
Atlantic! A good time was had by all. Two local papers covered the event,
and both photographers stayed for the entire hour! I was impressed!

Thank you Passport to Knowledge for a job well done!

Charlie Lindgren