It’s the anniversary of the first Landing on the Moon. On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 successfully made the first staffed landing on the Moon in the Sea of Tranquility.
American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin would become the first humans to walk on the Moon. Armstrong made his famous statement: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
The event is often noted by many engineers as a launch point for careers in science and engineering.
I can count myself as one of them. I remember sitting in the living room of a family friend’s lake home in Wisconsin, watching it on television. It was inspirational, almost wonderous, seeing people active in space, on the Moon.
It’s not like the Moon landing got us thinking about space. The Star Trek series had been on TV for three years prior to that. Ironically at the end of its third season that June, it was cancelled by NBC for low ratings. Several years later, the series became a hit in broadcast syndication, remaining so throughout the 1970s, achieving cult classic status and a developing influence on popular culture. The phenomenon was popularly attributed to syndication giving it a wider audience, but I am not so sure that the cancelling and subsequent syndication coinciding with the Apollo 11 excitement didn’t feed into the picture as well.
Trivia question: I, as many do, remember the Apollo 11 & 13 Moon missions. How many Apollo missions were sent to the Moon in total? How many intended to place men on the Moon? (Answer is below)
We as a nation, need to find that spark that gets school aged children inspired towards math and the sciences AGAIN! Perhaps children have been bombarded with technology for so long that they take it for granted. They don’t wonder how or why anything works anymore, just accept it as it is.
Math needs to be about more than solving problems but making the problems and answers applicable to everyday life.
We need to lead a resurgence in requiring industrial technology classes, even as early as Middle School age. Creating curriculum that includes simple mechanics. The making and understanding of how things work in elementary school. All students should grow up having a basic knowledge of mechanical and electrical workings.
More to come next week!
There were 15 total Apollo missions. The first Apollo mission had a fire on the launch pad during pre-tests, all three crew were lost. The next four Apollo missions were tests (three were unmanned). Then nine total Apollo missions were sent to the Moon. Six of those included a landing on the Moon. Apollo 8 went to the Moon and orbited it. Apollo 10 went and evaluated the lunar lander to within 50,000 ft but did not land. Apollo 13, made famous a second time in the movie of the same name, had a malfunction and had to turn around without a lunar landing. Apollo 17 was the final staffed Moon visit for NASA. Diverting space budget funds to the Space Shuttle program and budget cuts brought Apollo to a close.