Ellicott City, MD (November 8, 2007) — Fourth-graders at Hollifield Station Elementary School had an exciting visitor during American Education Week. Dr. Donald A. Thomas, a former NASA astronaut, came to speak to the students about daily life aboard the space shuttle, then had a special question-and-answer session with the students in the From Myth to Mars Curriculum Extension Unit, supervised by Gifted and Talented teacher Clair Wise.
The students' questions centered around the operation of a shuttle during take off and landing, the Challenger experience and astronaut training.
Thomas was a mission specialist aboard four space shuttle flights and is currently the director of the Willard Hackerman Academy of Mathematics and Science at Towson University, which was established to help increase the number of students who pursue careers in math and science.
The Hackerman Academy was made possible by a gift to Towson University by Willard Hackerman, president of the Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.
Thomas visits classrooms around the state giving presentations on his space shuttle experiences and the science experiments performed in space. He has also initiated a Saturday morning science presentation and demonstration series that will begin at Towson University in January, open to the public and targeted for students and their families.
Reprinted with permission from The View from Ellicott City
Hackerman Academy of Mathematics and Science