One of my best pals from way back when (we both had hair) is Craig Young. He left a hefty salary by jumping off the corporate ship to follow his passion. He was a big deal at Accenture and decided that he wanted more. He wanted to be a high school teacher. I speak pretty often…. Craig speaks to high school “audiences” every day.
In this photo, Craig looks like he is a little bit cazy, a little bit sick — and a little bit scared. I’m totally jealous of him. Here’s what he said about this flight:
In Sept. I had a chance to go on a parabolic flight to experience weightlessness – the same type of flights that NASA uses to train astronauts for weightlessness. This week, I finally received the photos and videos from the event. Attached is one of the better photos of me being “weightless”.
The weightless flight was a deal for science and math teachers sponsored by Northrop Grumman (a CA defense contractor). Their goal is to inspire teachers who can then inspire students to pursue math and science…and turn into nice little engineers working for defense contractors. Anyway, I applied in the spring and found out in August that I’d been selected. We
got together in early Sept to design some experiments showing the effects of weightless. The flight was on Sept 18. It was basically an all-day event, but the flight was only 90 minutes. We flew out of San Jose over the Pacific Ocean. Somewhere in the middle of nowhere, the plane started doing these crazy roller-coaster-like hills – climbing at a 50-degree angle then putting the engines in neutral and letting Earth’s gravity pull us through a parabola. We did that 15 times and got about 20 seconds of weightlessness each time. It was a phenomenal experience!
My teammates and I had planned only 4 experiments we wanted to perform, thinking that it would take a while to get acclimated and to collect our wits. I never collected my wits! Every time we went into freefall, I got giddy and could barely concentrate on what we were doing. It was such a different sensation than I had imagined. We did get our experiments completed but the video I took was a complete waste – fingers in the way, pictures of feet, backs, floors, ceilings – everything but the experiments. Luckily, the company had a professional photographer and mounted video cameras so we got some great footage from them. As I said
before, if I needed another reason to be a science teacher, that was it.
My students all got 2 days of weightlessness discussion – 1 the day after the flight and another when the videos came in. I also got to keep the flightsuit so I wore that both days to school and on Halloween.
Motivational Speaker, Educator, Fan of Folks with Passion