Space Camp a blast for Clear Spring resident

July 16, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

CLEAR SPRING -- For a man who got into teaching rather late in life, Roger Adlon is more convinced than ever that he made the right decision.

Adlon, a resident of Clear Spring, just got back June 30 from a week of activities for teachers at Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

"It was everything I hoped for and more," said Adlon, 46, who teaches eighth-grade math at Middletown (Md.) High School. "I can't wait for school to start so I can get with my students and demonstrate the math applications in real life."

Out of 1,500 applicants, Adlon was one of 284 chosen for the intensive training, which was funded by the Honeywell Corp.


"I got an e-mail last year about this opportunity for teachers, so I filled out the application," he said.

Adlon and his fellow Space Camp teachers lived in dorms at the University of Alabama while completing a packed schedule each day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

"We did two simulated shuttle missions," Adlon said. "I was the commander and even got to 'land' the shuttle."

That wasn't easy, he said.

"I finally had to eyeball it - I had two successful landings." he said.

The only thing that cost him money were souvenirs, and Adlon said he stocked up on posters for his classroom.

Adlon is planning to approach businesses to finance sending youths to Space Camp. He also plans to apply for a two-week advanced academy for teachers that includes one week at Huntsville and one week in Florida.

The retired career Navy man with a civil engineering background has been teaching school for eight years - four in Middletown and four at Linganore High School.

Back in 1986, Adlon said he wasn't considering teaching as a career, but he also had ruled out continuing with engineering as a civilian. He enrolled at Mount St. Mary's College while still having five years to complete in the Navy.

In addition to tuition assistance, Adlon qualified for an academic scholarship. He also did some independent study at Hood College in Frederick, Md.

"I'm re-energized big time," Adlon said of his experiences at Space Camp. He plans to give presentations to groups in both Frederick and Washington counties about his experiences.

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