The Day an Astronaut Came to Class

A few weeks back I met Leland Melvin at a lecture at a local college. Leland has not only been to space TWICE, but before that he was drafted by the NFL. What's really cool is that Leland went to the elementary school I teach at. That night I picked his brain, took a selfie with him and went away completely inspired!

A few weeks later I got a message from him on twitter, telling me that he wanted to come to my class to speak to them about space. I wish you could have seen the look on my face! There was a definitely a lot of happy dancing going on. A few weeks later he was in my classroom talking to my students. His visit happened to fall on our space week, it couldn't have been any more perfect! What better way to learn about space than someone who was there...twice! The class loved hearing him speak and watching his videos.

When I first met Leland I talked to him about STEAM education in school. I wanted to incorporate it in my class but was very intimidated. Leland is a big advocate and gave me some tips. I then got connected with an AMAZING teacher who helped lead my class with our first STEAM project. Students needed to pick layers that would work best to make a space suit. To help them learn more about the elements of space they asked Leland questions... ya know... since he is kind of an expert :) He was so kind and answered each of their questions. It was amazing how he connected with each of them on a personal level.

I still can't believe this actually happened. As a teacher I want to give my students everything and MORE. This experience is one they will remember forever. None of us will ever forget the day an astronaut came to our class to teach us about space. Leland inspired 17 little people that day, and I know they are going to go on and do amazing things. I cannot put into words how grateful and appreciative I am to have had this opportunity. Thank you so much Leland. I honestly, cannot thank you enough!

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