Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Failure + Learning = A+

Photo from:

There is a saying amongst the Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineers:

"If a test works you get an A, if it fails and you learn, you get an A+"

Do we teach students that failure + learning equals an A+, or do they stop at failure?

NASA Embodies the 4Cs

I mentioned in my last post that I am at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena today as a kick off #NASASocial event for the Orion launch. The Orion launch marks the start of our journey to Mars; the next step for humans to explore the solar system.

I had the privilege of asking a question live during the event, which was shared on NASA TV. My question was about how the different NASA satellite locations, like JPL, contributed to the Orion launch. I won't go in to the answer, except to say that the different locations, with different expertise, provided some of the technological advances and component pieces for Orion.

Why is this important? Because it stresses the importance for students to learn the 4Cs. Obviously, collaboration is critical for NASA to undertake this important mission. Not only are they collaborating with their own personnel, but they are also collaborating with commercial flight companies, like Boeing and SpaceX, and local, specialized businesses to create the parts that are fabricated for the mission. Without creativity, Orion would not exist. What started as a dream and a question is now a reality. That's due to creative geniuses using their critical thinking skills to turn that dream in to an actual product launch. And communication? Well, I'm sure you can picture the amount of emails, phone calls, presentations, texts, webinars, etc that transpired between all of these entities to put this entire mission together. It's incredible when you look at the big picture that created tomorrow's Orion launch.

Our students today will be the astronauts that travel to Mars. Are you preparing them with the 4Cs for that jouney?

We're Going to Mars

Today I have the honor of sitting at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena to share in the excitement for the Orion launch. This test flight is the first step in our Journey to Mars.

I will have to write a detailed blog later, but if you want to follow the excitement from all NASA sites, the twitter hashtags are: