April 24 Broadcast

From: THall1234@aol.com
Subject: April 24 Broadcast
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 23:24:13 -0400 (EDT)

On April 24th, we got ready to watch the broadcast live and my classroom was
full of anticipation.  In addition to the general excitement of kids
gathering together to share a subject they've been intensely involved with
all year, they were about to see themselves on REAL T.V.!   Our school got
very "into" the Red Rover portion of program and we were invited by PTK to
share the project for the April 24th broadcast.  About 2 weeks before the
show, we were scheduled to be filmed.  We had built our rover(s) and our Mars
terrain and had already done some communication with other sites in the
country. What was exciting about participating in the filming though was that
the students assumed roles similar to the same mission specialists they had
read and heard about.  We ran the filming session as if we were in a control
room at JPL, with mission teams in charge of various activities; i.e.
communications, interpreting messages from the remote site and sending
messages, drivers of the remote rover (Utah), rover technicians, etc.
 Simulating a real control room scene and being filming doing so brought an
intensity to the project which we had not experienced before.  

So it was with a little bit of nerves and a lot of excitement that we
prepared to watch the broadcast.  When the broadcast got going, I realized
something very interesting, as did the students.  The roles they had assumed
during their Rover filming were very similar to the specialists they were
seeing in the broadcast.  I also heard things like..." Hey, we learned about
that!" and  "Wow, I didn't know that!".  It was perfect.  We had been
learning all year long but there was still more to learn!   I was impressed
with the way the information was presented in such a logical and kid-friendly
manner.  It flowed in a way that kept them going and thinking.  I know they
understood so much more than they had before the show started.  In fact, they
had "almost" (but not quite) forgotten they were waiting for their "moment".
 When they did come on the screen, there was so much cheering I could hardly
hear what was being said!  But it didn't matter.  They were very proud!

In the beginning of the school year, when we had months ahead of us, we had
some idea of where we wanted to be towards the end of the school year.  I
knew we were about to embark on our Live from Mars adventure, and that we
would be participating  in various activities like P.E.T., Mars Watch, and
Red Rover, to name a few (not to mention all the hands-ons, like stream
tables, rocket propulsion, etc.)  What I didn't realize was that I had been
given the most amazing set of "building blocks" that enabled me to expand my
students knowledge in a way that was so fun and interesting, half the time
they didn't realize how much they were learning!   

Thanks so much, PTK, for a great year so far -- we are looking forward to the
rest of our LFM activities and beyond!

Theresa Hall
Paradise Canyon Elementary School
La Canada, California