Challenger Crew



“They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us.”


Gym class came to a halt when a kid ran in and shouted: “The Space Shuttle exploded!”

I was a middle school student then, I’m a middle school teacher now. To honor the Challenger crew we read the transcript of the president’s speech on the evening of the tragedy.



We also watch this short film about one of the astronauts, Ronald McNair.



I teach about the Challenger each year in a two-part lesson on how small causes can have large effects. “The first story is not a happy one,” I warn the students, and we learn the consequences of low temperatures on O-rings.

The second story, however, is joyous: “The Doughnuts,” by Robert McCloskey, the tale of a mechanical malfunction’s several benefits. I like to think the Challenger crew – especially the teacher – would approve.