The Jess & Mildred Fisher College of Science & Mathematics

Hackerman Academy of Mathematics and Science


Space Day 2008 “Student Signatures In Space Program”
Windsor Mill Middle School – A STEM Academy

On May 4, 2008 over 200 students gathered at Windsor Mill Middle School, along with over 500 others chosen around the world, to sign a "Students in Space S3" poster celebrating Space Day 2008. Windsor Mill was the only school chosen in Baltimore County for this event. The program provided elementary and middle school students the opportunity to send their digitalized signatures in space and feel a personal involvement with the crew and the mission. It was an educational initiative jointly sponsored by NASA and Lockheed Martin. According to Space Day Program Manager Barbara Reinike, "The goal is to spark kids' interest in technical studies by giving them a personal connection to the space program. The students will get a chance to follow their signatures mission from launch to landing". Lockheed Martin is the founding sponsor of Space Day. Since its beginning in 1997, nearly 4.5 million students have participated in the program. The ultimate goal is to promote young people's interest in mathematics, science, technology and engineering education.

The students also had an opportunity to hear from a former astronaut, Dr. Don Thomas who is currently the director of the Hackerman Academy of Mathematics and Science at Towson University. His space experience includes flights on four shuttles: STS- 65 Columbia in July 1994; STS- 70 Discovery in July 1995; STS - 83 Columbia in April 1997; and, STS - 94 Columbia in July 1997. Dr. Thomas shared a presentation documenting one of his missions into space highlighting his specific responsibilities for conducting scientific experiments. He encouraged the students to hold on to their aspirations as he wanted to be an astronaut since he was six years old. Dr. Thomas also shared that he tried three times before he was finally chosen for a mission. At the end of his presentation, many of the students participated in a question and answer session.

Johnna Alexande and Marilyn McDonald of Windsor Mill Middle School with Don Thomas
[left to right] Science Department Chair, Johnna Alexander, Dr. Don Thomas, and Marilyn McDonald

The Space Shuttle mission designated to carry this year's signatures has been identified as STS -126, a flight to the International Space Station scheduled for next fall. The poster will be returned to the school for permanent display along with a flight certificate and a picture of the shuttle crew. Thanks to Johnna Alexander, Science Department Chairperson and Anu Bajpai, Science Teacher for applying to become a part of this event and to Deborah Phelps, Principal for her continuing support of the STEM program at Windsor Mill Middle School.


Reprinted with permission from Woodlawn Villager Community Newspaper

Hackerman Academy of Mathematics and Science
Psychology Building, Room 208 (campus map)
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Phone: 410-704-3659





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