This podcast features an interview from November 2008 with Oklahoman Tom Weichel, who served as a flight engineer for the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) during the 1960s and in 1970 for the Gemini and Apollo space programs. Tom was at mission control in Houston for both Apollo 11, the first successful moon landing mission, as well as Apollo 13, which was nearly a tragedy. Many thanks to Daniel Moore, who introduced me to Tom and arranged for this interview. Tom has worked with Daniel at the Caddo Kiowa Technology Center in Fort Cobb, Oklahoma. To encourage and inspire a new generation of engineers, scientists, and mathematicians Tom believes educators must help students take a more HANDS ON approach to learning. He relates that growing up on a farm, fixing things, and learning figure things out was an important part of his childhood. It was inspiring to visit with Tom and hear about his experiences with NASA firsthand. The NASA programs leading up to and including the Apollo program are some amazing chapters in our global history books.

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Show Notes:

  1. NASA (WikiPedia)
  2. NASA Official website
  3. NASA Gemini Program (WikiPedia)
  4. NASA Apollo Program (WikiPedia)
  5. NASA Apollo 11 Mission (WikiPedia)
  6. NASA Apollo 13 Mission (WikiPedia)
  7. 1983 Movie “The Right Stuff” (WikiPedia)
  8. 1995 Movie “Apollo 13″ (WikiPedia)
  9. 2005 IMAX Movie “Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D” (WikiPedia)
  10. Caddo Kiowa Technology Center, Fort Cobb, Oklahoma
  11. Project Lead the Way (STEM curriculum)
  12. Mission Accomplished: India fifth in world to reach moon (15 Nov 2008)
  13. Celebrate Oklahoma Voices (oral history and digital storytelling project)

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