Vassalboro Middle School Teacher Hopes To Use Space Camp Adventure To Inspire Students 

Most middle school science teachers would jump at the chance to spend a week at space camp at the U.S. Rocket Center.Tom Nadeau, who teaches science at the Vassalboro Community School, is no different. After filling out his application, the email telling him he was one of only a few hundred teachers worldwide to be accepted into the program got lost in his junk mail.”So I got an emergency email saying I had a week to decide whether I wanted to go or not. So I wrote right off ‘sure’!! I had to check with my wife on the schedule.”And just like that, Nadeau was off to Huntsville, Alabama for an all expenses paid, once in a lifetime opportunity, spending 12-15 hours a day training for the riggers of space travel. Honeywell Hometown Solutions sponsors the program and paid for everything.”Inspiring students begins with inspiring teachers,” said Tom Buckmaster, president of Honeywell Hometown Solutions. The goal, according to HHS, is that the training provides the teachers with new innovative teaching skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in fun and exciting ways. During the astronaut simulations, Nadeau was appointed the base commander for the lunar mission and also shuttle commander for the shuttle mission.He says the week also provided a new cultural experience for him, having 41 states and 27 countries all represented at the camp. On his team of 15, Nadeau says there were teachers from the Czech Republic, Ireland, Vietnam and South Africa.”The one thing we all had in common was the science curriculum. And the one thing about the history of space science, it doesn’t change world wide. So we had a lot of that stuff in common and it was pretty cool,” he said.The entire experience is one he hopes will help him better capture the attention of his middle school students in Vassalboro, and help show them that through science, the sky truly is the limit.”I’d like to think it could get them motivated. It’s rejuvenated me,” he said. “I wish we had school now so I could go back and share it when it’s fresh.”