Chambersburg teachers fly with NASA

At T-minus 14:00 hours, students at Corpus Christi Catholic School in Chambersburg filled the room.

Anticipation filled the air.

It was go time for equal parts lesson plan and flight plan.

Three women popped up on a big-screen projector at 2 p.m. from NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and the students in Chambersburg erupted in applause. 

The third and fourth-grade teachers (Mrs. Amy Fetterhoff, Mrs. Amanda Blough, and Miss Kelly Hockensmith) had been in training for a week as part of the Explorer Schools project.

On Friday, they went on a zero-gravity flight, floating weightlessly above Texas.

Once their feet hit the ground, they traveled via satellite and TV camera back to Chambersburg.

They took questions from students and shared the results of experiments. The first question wondered if they lost their lunch during the flight.

“They were most excited in seeing whether their teachers would throw up,” said fifth-grade teacher Eileen Harris. “The flight that they took is called the 'vomit comet' so the kids were excited about that, but they were also excited about what the teachers were doing.”

Fifth grader Liam Waldron isn't sure he wants to be an astronaut, but is intrigued by zero gravity. “Just knowing there's only a couple other people in the world who've ever experienced that and knowing you are one of a kind.”

Olivia Colli agreed. “I think it's amazing and cool and I hope I can do it some day.”

Olivia likes science but isn't ready to commit to the astronaut thing just yet. Afterall, she's only in fourth grade.

“I think I would like to do that, but there might be other things i'd like to do. Like what? Um I want to be a doctor.”

The teachers will return to school on Monday with lots of lessons to teach their students. But maybe the most important thing they'll learn from the women who defied gravity is that nothing should hold you back.


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