Rancho Ebenezer, Honduras, Central America (2003-2005)

My passion for teaching and love of space intersected beautifully at an orphanage outside Tegucigalpa, Honduras in 2003. I spent the first 6 months of the year as a volunteer with the Baxter Bible College in Tegucigalpa. During my stay, I had the opportunity to visit friends from my Costa Rican language school who had moved to a children's home just outside the city.

About 20 children attended an elementary/middle school operated by the orphanage ministry, and I offered to help in any way possible. I soon found myself invited to teach space science activities on Friday afternoons to the middle school students. I will forever be captivated by the beautiful setting of a little school filled with bright, inquisitive minds, unhindered by the world around and happy to spend an hour focused on the heavens above.

Exploring the principles of water filtration aboard the International Space Station

Constructing an egg drop device on the same principles as the Mars Pathfinder Lander 

Learning how scientists interpret terrain on Mars from satellite photography

Launching a baking soda and vinegar rocket

Showing off Indo-China Tectite... glassy rocks created from meteor impacts. These were graciously donated by Dr. Larry Taylor, a planetary geologist at UT.

Enacting a scale model of the solar system. Can you spot pluto?