Science teacher goes up, up and away - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Science teacher goes up, up and away


SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -- Space Camp is usually an activity meant for children interested in science at a young age. But recently, teachers have been making the trip to gain experience to enhance their science classes.

One teacher from Siouxland got to make the trip to Huntsville this past June.

East Middle School sixth grade science teacher Paul Pirrie's classroom is filled with all kinds of outer space material. When he found out he had been accepted over thousands of applicants to go to space camp, he couldn't resist the opportunity.

"I didn't know too much about it at first, the more I found and the more I did some research about it, it sounded like an incredible opportunity," Pirrie said.

The program to sent Pirrie to camp was part of a joint effort by Honeywell and NASA to send teachers to integrate new material into the classroom.

"You could tell who the teachers because they were just so excited, it was almost we couldn't sit still as the plane was landing in Huntsville, Alabama," Pirrie said.

Pirre was one of only two teachers from Iowa to be selected for the program. While at Space Camp, he got a chance to fly a space shuttle simulator just like a real astronaut does before a flight. But, that activity was easy compared to others.

"We had to do what I like to call metal spinning circle of death, which was a multi-access trainer, and it spun you in every which way," Pirrie said.

A big part of time was spent in classroom settings while learning how to get students to apply their knowledge of science more effectively.

"The whole purpose of this trip was to make us better teachers and to be able to reach these kids and really ignite that fire in them," Pirrie said.

Pirrie says the camp just didn't ignite the fire in him, it was more of a full scale blast off.

"So they know if they reach the teacher, and the teacher gets excited, then the students will start getting excited," Pirrie said.

And with students excited to learn, Pirrie says, nothing is impossible.

"There's a whole world out there open to them."

Online Reporter: Michael Klos

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