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Former NASA flight controller Speaks to Upper Schoolers About His Work With Apollo Missions

Between exploring intellectual topics that prompt curiosity and the lively discussions that usually follow, there is never a dull moment in Ms. Brown's Theory of Knowledge (TOK) class.

As a part of the IB Diploma Programme, Upper School students in TOK  have the opportunity to reflect on the nature of knowledge and how we know what we claim to know. 

"In this class we explore several scenarios, demonstrations and activities that provide students insight involving their assumptions based upon various forms of external information," said Upper School physics and TOK teacher Faunne Brown. "

To establish a real-world connection to one of their most recent topics, Ms. brown invited Bill Weppner to speak with the class about his time working as a NASA flight coordinator for the mission control team during the Apollo missions.

"Mr. Weppner's visit connected our students in a very real, personal and accessible version to the Apollo missions, which succeeded in landing the first humans on the Moon from 1969 to 1972, and arguably one of the most important events in human history," said Ms. Brown. "Students were given detailed examples of this event and its relevance to our modern world."

Mr. Weppner told stories about the dedication and patience from the young men and women who were eager to contribute to the space race as students listened intently, curious about what he would say next. 

He also discussed engineering techniques and how the use of language was highly important in the communication between ground control and the astronauts during each mission, as only a fellow astronaut on land was allowed to convey information to the crew. 

"I appreciated that Mr. Weppner conveyed several personal moments and facts," said Ms. Brown. "He made this historic event come alive for our students."

Posted by Shayne Dotson at 2:44 PM