Rosetta Mission could provide valuable and inspiring classroom lesson

To the editor:

My grandson is a student in 5th grade. I wanted to offer a suggestion as to a teaching topic that I think teachers and students alike would find incredibly interesting and engaging.

On Nov. 12, the European Space Agency Rosetta Mission will culminate a 10-year mission and attempt to touch-down the Philae Lander on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at site Agilkia to perform experiments and hopefully unlock secrets about the very beginnings of the universe.

This is an historic event that I was hoping teachers in our schools might add to the students’ curriculum. This “science-fiction to science-fact” event would be a great way to introduce students to science and technology, and I was hoping schools could incorporate it into lessons on Nov. 12, the day of the landing.

I know my grandson would be thrilled to know and learn more about this amazing mission, as I suspect would all students.

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Long ago in the ’70s when I was in school, the NASA Apollo missions were happening. These were shown in our classes on each and every launch and landing, and I truly believe that has helped lead me into a life-long passion for all things science, technology and space.

I have since attended in person several NASA space shuttle launches and taken tours of Cape Canaveral (Cape Kennedy) as well Mount Palomar, many Planetariums and countless science exhibits, etc.

My grandson and I have visited the Smithsonian Institute Science and Space Museum as well as the Udvar-Hazy Space Center together and if you ask him about them, I promise you will see his eyes light up with interest and excitement — and shouldn’t that be what learning is really about?

I believe my interest in these things was sparked by educators who made them a priority for us in school and turned these events into imagination-inspiring lessons.

I believe these lessons also contributed toward steering me into a well-paying profession in IT that has been not only rewarding, but allowed me to earn a good living.

I am always hearing how we must get more students excited about STEM careers and can’t think of a better way to provide that interest and passion than this Rosetta Mission happening in just about one week.

I know my grandson would be thrilled!

I hope all schools will consider including this amazing event into their lessons, and I have provided a few links at the bottom as a place to begin.

I’d love to hear any thoughts on the subject.

Thank you everyone very much for your time and consideration.

Jim Diaz

East Pikeland

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta

http://www.esa.int/Education/Teach_with_Rosetta/

http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/