Thanks to LFM

From: (William L. Farmer)
Subject: Thanks to LFM
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 97 00:04 EST

On behalf of the students of Mack Elementary School in Ann Arbor, I'd like
to thank PTK, NASA and all involved in bringing an extraordinarily useful
and well-designed educational program to my students with "Live From
Mars".  The past year has been one of my most productive as a Media
Specialist/Librarian thanks to LFM, and one that my  students will not
forget for some time.

The final program last Thursday was a great success for us.  With the
first LFM broadcast last year (Fall 1996), I had one class that was able
to attend the live broadcast.  By this last show (Today on Mars), I had
three classes and part of a fourth, all squeezed into my library, viewing
with rapt attention.  All week long students in various classes were
begging their teachers for permission to come and participate in the Live
>From Mars broadcast.  The students have been swept away in enthusiam for
the Mars exploration missions, and in learning about space science.  Which
is exactly what we want from an educational edeavor.

As a Media Specialist, I chose to get my students involved because the
Live From Mars program is a perfect example of "distance learning".
Students have learned about the productive use of a variety of media,
including video tape, slides, CD-ROMS, e-mail, the world wide web, and
cable television.  They have used these media in a purposeful and directed
way, while also engaging in a wonderful science program that enriches and
extends the Ann Arbor Schools science curriculum.

The curriculum and materials prepared by Passport to Knowledge/NASA were
top-notch: easy to use, adaptable across grade levels, abilities, and
across curricular areas.  PTK has some great instructional designers
under it's roof.  And it was very easy to engage the students; they loved
the content, and the variety.  Now, I can't keep enough space science
books in the library.

Two of my most memorable moments in the last year of teaching occurred
last Thursday.  At the end of the Today on Mars telecast, when the
students fully realized that the program was winding down and ending, they
all (about 75 elementary kids) burst into spontaneous applause that must
have lasted a minute...this project really meant something to them.

And then, as the students were leaving the Media Center, and I was busy
unplugging cables, two girls, fifth grade students, came up to me and very
matter-of-factly, told me, "Mr.Farmer, we are going to Mars.  NASA will
need people like us to get ready.  We are the right age right now.  We are
going to get ready to go to Mars...we really mean it."

Now, that's the kind of enthusiasm an educational program should
foster...what a success this has been for PTK, NASA, and the students we
have served. Bravo, to all involved!

Looking forward to future collaborations.

Best wishes to all,

Bill Farmer
Mack Elementary School
Ann Arbor, MI 48103