Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Right Stuff - not in Japan's classrooms this week, thank you.

Chuck Yeager with Bell X-1.
Chuck Yeager with Bell X-1. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I think this is one of the coolest and most significant things I have witnessed for ages. And I CANNOT believe kids in schools in Japan were not pushed in front of a TV screen & shown history/science in the making. This story is a classic opportunity to teach and inspire a generation about pushing the limits, marvellous tech and sheer damn bravery! Not one of my students knew anything about this - so I have unashamedly sat them down in front of Youtube and pressed play. I have delighted in watching their faces light up in sheer amazement at the scale of Felix's achievement. Kids get it. They ask questions, and who gives a shit if it is not in the national curriculum this week?

Man breaks speed of sound with his head? Come on! 65th anniversary of Chuck Yeager breaking Mach 1 for the first time? Beating Kittinger's records that have stood since 1960 (and how brave must he have been, in the pre-computer, pre-synthetic fibres, pre-GPS, pre-weather satellite era)? His team doctor's personal mission to do something after his wife's death in the space shuttle Columbia tragedy (in the same skies over Texas)?  So much could have been taught this failure Japan. Knackers to precious entrance tests. - learn some real stuff. The Right Stuff.

See the drama here

            Red Bull Stratos / Felix Baumgartner

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