Banks teacher to participate

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 14, 2001

in NASA experiment


Staff Writer

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Tammy Goss has just been given the opportunity to participate in something truly out of this world.

Goss, who teaches seventh and eighth grade science, as well as a career discovery lab for eighth graders at Banks Junior High School, will be participating in an amazing experiment with NASA. She will spend the week of Jan. 14-19 at The Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., and will watch the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis on Friday, Jan. 19.

Goss was given this extraordinary opportunity because of a crystalography experiment she participated in with other school teachers at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in November. It wasn’t just science teachers that participated in the experiment. Teachers from kindergarten all the way up to high school chemistry and physics teachers were chosen to do the experiment.

Goss and the other teachers involved in this experiment were able to participate in it because of a class they attended last summer for graduate credit at UAH. After completion of the class, Exploring Space – The Classroom Connection, the teachers were invited to come to UAH last November to attend a workshop to perform a crystalography experiment.

Crystalography is the science of growing crystals in different salt solutions, and NASA wants to see how gravity acts on the crystals in space. The

experiments will be sent to the space station on the next space shuttle launch, Jan. 19.

While staying at the Kennedy Space Center, all the teachers will be given a Gold Badge tour of the facilities. They will see how the experiments are loaded onto the space station and talk to scientists to find out how they use math and science in their work.

Goss is the only teacher from the Pike County School system going to the space center for this "awesome" experience.

"I think it’s a real honor for us, especially to be able to go on the Gold Badge tour, because some people that even work with NASA are not able to do that," said Goss. "For a civilian to be able to do that, it’s just an honor."

Goss, who has taught at Banks Junior High for three years now, is a Troy State graduate.

She takes pride that she and all the other teachers involved in the experiment will get their experiments back to use in the classroom after they are returned from the space station.

But before then, eighth graders will get to see an experiment performed in class of how crystals form.

"We will be focusing on how proteins react to form crystals," said Goss. "Students can benefit by learning how it can be used to treat diabetes."

The Space Shuttle Atlantis will lift off from Launch Pad 39A at 2:11 a.m. EST on Jan.19, heading for the International Space Station. The mission will deliver the first laboratory to the space station.

After an 11-day mission, Atlantis is scheduled to land at about 9:51 p.m. EST Jan. 29 at the Kennedy Space Center.