High-Tech Town

shuttle2My faithful blog followers know just how much I enjoy photographing old houses and antiques.

But like I alluded to in my previous post, the majority of us live in your basic suburban ranch with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. (Well, not all of us…Lefty and I built before the latter became so popular around here.)

I decided to hit Huntsville with my trusty little Canon PowerShot–to show you another view of our little town.

The high-tech defense industry drives Huntsville’s economy. Our little rocket engines helped to send humans to the moon. We have the second largest research park in the United States, and if you aren’t an engineer yourself, you are probably married to one.

As I celebrate the Rocket City, today, I hope you’ll see Alabama in a new light! An ongoing joke around here is, “Well, it isn’t rocket science…Oh, wait…It is!

First of all, this is what it’s all about. We Alabamians love our country and what she stands for. We will fight ’til our dying breaths for those values.
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This little guy is our claim to fame--a rocket engine.

This little guy is our claim to fame–a rocket engine.

More rocket engines.

More rocket engines.

Kids come from all over to visit Space Camp and Aviation Challenge.  One day I'll have to tell you about when I was a counselor.

Kids come from all over to visit Space Camp and Aviation Challenge. One day I’ll have to tell you about when I was a counselor.

Woooooosh!!!!!!!!!!!

Woooooosh!!!!!!!!!!! The Saturn V rocket graces Huntsville’s skyline.

Earth to Mars...Earth to Mars...this is Stephanie speaking...  :-P

Earth to Mars…Earth to Mars…this is Stephanie speaking… 😛

One of the many companies in Research Park.

One of the many companies in Research Park.

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We've got your back, America.  SAIC is one of the defense contractors in town.

We’ve got your back, America. SAIC is one of the defense contractors in town.

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Agriculture meets high-tech on the skirts of Research Park.

Agriculture meets high-tech on the skirts of Research Park.

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We're also home to the Redstone Arsenal.

We’re also home to the Redstone Arsenal.

UAH breeds more and more engineers.

UAH breeds more and more engineers.

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Our new mega-Belk is being built at Bridge Street...a shopping center built at the fringe of Research Park. Our new mega-Belk is being built at Bridge Street…a shopping center built at the fringe of Research Park.[/caption]

Substituting Stephanie

Colorful classroom.

Colorful classroom.

On Wednesday afternoon and all day on Thursday, I assumed the moniker “Mrs. Robertson” and served as a substitute science teacher at my daughter’s school.

I only had the 3rd grade on Wednesday. When they came in the classroom, I had a Youtube video of a Fogo volcano (off the coast of Africa) blasting away on the projector. The children liked that! After we gathered rocks, moss, and twigs, the kids came back inside; each table teamed up to build their own volcano out of a paper cup (to use as a crater), paper plate (to set the cup on), and modeling clay. That’s about all the time we had for Wednesday.

I went to bed around 9:30 that night, which is very early for me.

I’m not a morning person, but I got up ready to go the next day. I had the 5th, 6th, 4th, and 3rd grades, respectively. I was amazed at how well the kids behaved. Talkative and giggley at times, yes. Disrespectful, no. I loved them!

I’m not sure if they are ever going to call me back to sub, though, after the 3rd grade volcano blast.

No, I’m serious!

Each team put their volcanoes into plastic bins. (Their regular teacher had suggested this so that we would avoid a huge mess.) I took pictures of each team with their volcano. They added baking soda and I squirted dish detergent in so that the “lava” would last longer. Then I went to each table and poured on the reactant: vinegar. (I learned a lot about reactants, chemical changes, and physical changes when I taught the 4th grade class.)

POW!

Each volcano erupted, and so did the kids!

I didn’t hold them back.

They yelled, cheered, squealed, and laughed. It was so loud!

I went around again and doused their infernos with more fuel. The kids went crazy. And then I was like, “Oh, maybe I should calm them down.”

Believe it or not, I turned off the lights and they calmed down. I tried an old stand-by that Mom used for her students and got the kids to put their heads on their desks (this was after I collected the volcano and canisters). It worked.

Yay!

I asked the teacher next door, “Um…were we loud? Did we disturb you?”

She said that we were loud, but it was okay. We hadn’t bothered her. Whew! She’s a good sport!

Here’s the kicker: I had allowed one videographer for each table. Their regular teacher is going to get some surprise on Monday morning when the kids show her their volcano videos on their tablets!!!

I may not ever be hired back to be “Mrs. Robertson” again, but I’ll bet those little cuties won’t forget the day the science class exploded.

And I fell asleep at 8:30 last night!

The volcano bins.

The volcano bins.

The science class degus.

The science class degus.

The science class turtles, Crush and Callie.

The science class turtles, Crush and Callie.

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Standby Steph

Hi Readers,

I was a substitute elementary science teacher this afternoon.  My friend and fellow church member called last night and asked me to be her stand-by today and tomorrow.  When my only class for the day, the third grade, came in to the room, I had a Youtube video of a volcano exploding on the projector screen.  The kids–especially the little boys–were like, “Wow!!!!!!!!”

My science teacher friend had this whole volcano project ready for the children.  We went outside, and they collected twigs, rocks, and dirt (yes, it was a messy project, but fun!).  Then we went back inside so that each table could construct their volcano.

I passed out paper plates, paper cups, and modeling clay.  They mushed their clay into shape and put these forms around the cup, which was on the paper plate.  Then they stuck their rocks, twigs, dirt, moss, and whatever else — around the clay volcano.

Tomorrow we’re going to let them rip with vinegar, baking soda, and a squirt of dish detergent.  They can hardly wait!

So I didn’t have time to blog today, but maybe I’ll get something down on Friday.

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NOTE: All ads displayed at the bottom of this post are inserted by Word Press. Ads have not been selected by Stephanie and thereby are not endorsed by http://www.thewritesteph.com or Stephanie L. Robertson.