Today, NASA’s chief Rocket Scientist, Dr. Bobby Braun, visited our shop. Even as I write this it is difficult to grasp. I keep waiting to wake up from this X Prize Dream I seem to be trapped in.
U. S. Congressman Chaka Fattah arranged for Dr. Braun to come to school and meet with the Team. The chief technologist for NASA wanted to see what we were doing.
Our students delivered powerful speeches about hybrid technology, the need for green jobs, what it means to be a student in West Philly, and what real educational reform looks like. The adults, as usual, listened with pride.
Congressman Fattah, State Representative Roebuck and Dr. Braun spoke to all of us and spent another hour answering our questions and taking a close look at our technology. It was incredible.
Over the last two years, we’ve had some amazing visitors including a United States Senator, a Congressman, a world famous musician, and a member of President Obama’s cabinet. Each visit has been as inspirational as it is inconceivable. We sometimes wonder if the kids understand just how big a deal our work is. While what we’re doing isn’t rocket science, it is real and important work for students and adults, alike.
When other people – brilliant, powerful or influential – validate what we’re doing, it should send a wake-up call to the rest of the country. We think the message is clear – when you give young people the opportunity and space to do real work, wonderful things can happen.
Scroll down to see video of Dr. Braun and to read Ronnie Polaneczky's column in today's Philadelphia Daily News.