Special the E-T

Students at Chamberlin Elementary recently joined with more than 500 other schools around the world by signing Student Signatures in Space posters to celebrate “Space Day 2008!”

Student Signatures in Space provides elementary and middle school students the opportunity to send their digitized signatures into space and feel a personal involvement with the crew and the mission.

“Our goal with Student Signatures in Space is to spark kids’ interest in technical studies by giving them a personal connection to the space program,” said Barbara Reinike, Space Day program manager for Lockheed Martin. “Classes usually follow their signatures mission together from launch to landing, so it really piques the students’ interest in the whole process. Counterpart lesson plans that incorporate math and science activities help teachers take the learning experience to the next level.”

Lockheed Martin provides several space-themed lesson plans as well as classroom and school-wide activity ideas, which are featured on the Space Day web site at www.spaceday.org.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for our students! Many of our teachers have been presenting space units in their classrooms, so this was a great way to conclude that study. The children were so excited about being a part of this program. These students helped to make history at Chamberlin. We look forward to displaying the poster at our school when it is returned to us next fall,” said Chamberlin teacher Jan Nix.

The Space Shuttle mission designated to carry this year’s signatures has tentatively been identified as STS-126, a flight to the International Space Station that is scheduled for next fall.

After the signatures return from space, the poster will be returned for permanent display to Chamberlin along with a flight certificate and picture of the crew that carried the signatures into space.

Since the program began in 1997, nearly 4.5 million students have participated in Student Signatures in Space. There is no cost to schools to participate. However, because of space constraints on each mission, participation is limited to approximately 500 schools each year.