Saturday, January 30, 2010

Austin Rocket Club Launches on the Seawall

Today, on a cold, clear day on the beach, at Seawall and 11th Street, promptly at 11:00 AM, the Austin Middle School Rocket Club successfully launched 15 Estes model rockets. The Club’s Advisor is Bill McAdams, a third year Engineering teacher at Austin. The Rocket Club is sponsored by G.I.S.D.'s 21st Century Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE) program. The Coordinator for Austin's 21st Century ACE program is Joel Delatorre.

There were over 85 people watching from the beach, seawall and the comfort of their cars! Dedicated parents, students and friends gathered to cheer each of the launches on this chilly day in Galveston.

The idea to form the Austin Rocket Club was stimulated by Mary Case of Galveston Reads when she approached Mc Adams about sponsoring a joint event relating to Galveston Read’s book of the year “Rocket Boys”.

Following the beach launches, three Austin students provided a presentation at Galveston College on software programs used within Austin’s STEM program. Alejandro Salazar, a 5th grader, demonstrated a NASA model rocket simulation program. Skler Wetmore, a 6th grader, demonstrated the West Point Bridge Building software. Aurora Reinmiller, a 7th grader, demonstrated the use of sophisticated engineering software. Alejandro and Aurora are students enrolled in the STEM program, while Skyler is enrolled in the College Preparatory program at Austin.
With 40 people in the audience, the student presentations impressed all the future rocket boys and rocket girls, along with their parents and the Galveston Read’s community.

Thanks to Mr. McAdams, Galveston College for the room and Mosquito Cafe for donations towards refreshments, and our own Kat for the pics and Lynn for the design of program!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Straight from Mod Coffee House

from kat, participant in the Galveston Reads program held 1/21/2010 facilitated by Dr. Pat Jakobi….. if you haven’t been to one of the discussion groups about the book Rocket Boys (October Sky) don’t miss your opportunity to do so. I attended the discussion last night at MOD Coffee House, and I am in awe at the facilitator’s ability to focus and bring up some interesting theories of every reader of the book. Is there really such a thing as a “man’s book?” When I read the book, I did think to myself there’s little emotion emoting from the story teller – well – why did I think that? It’s a man’s book. We talked about the mother, the era she lived, detached, strong, a survivor… all these things coming to the forefront in our discussion. We talked about the connection of the town to the boys, how the town needed them, and how they needed the town – it was a true match. I also met some fabulous people, some new to Galveston – yeah! New Blood! In essence, I don’t portray myself as an intelligent human being, I see myself as a pseudo artist and a child seeking knowledge, and to be surrounded by such thought provoking individuals discussing the Galveston Reads book of the year was exciting to me. Don’t miss the next book discussion! You’ll be thankful you went.

and this discussion was so absorbing that all participates cried and hugged at the end and bonded as all good women's circles do! (i heard this through the grapevine...poom)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Austin Rocket Club Launches First Galveston Reads Event

Come watch our very own students from Austin Middle School launch the first Galveston Reads event. Galveston Reads has selected the book: Rocket Boys, by Homer H. Hickam for 2010.

Our local rocket boys and girls will be launching Estes model rockets from the seawall. They have built and decorated the model rockets which fly approximately 300 feet before returning by parachute. The students plan to fire 15 rockets beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday January 30th, 2010.

Location: 11th and Seawall

The students belong to Austin Middle School’s Rocket Club here in Galveston. The club’s advisor is Bill Mc Adams who is an engineering teacher. He is in his third year of teaching engineering at Austin Middle school. He is an enthusiastic advocate of learning, reading and engineering. Thank you to Bill and the students for their support of this Galveston Reads event.

The Rocket Club is sponsored by G.I.S.D.’s 21st Century Afterschool Centers on Education. The program is in its second year as is the club. The purpose of this program is to establish activities that provide students with academic enrichment opportunities along with activities designed to complement the students’ regular academic program. The site coordinator for the Austin 21st Century ACE program is Joel DeLaTorre.

The Austin Rocket Club will present at Galveston College shortly after the rocket firings at 12:45 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

1/30/10 Model Rocket Launch
11th and Seawall. 11 am

Austin Middle School Rocket
Club Presentation. 12:45pm.
Galveston College.
4015 Ave. Q, Room FA207

This and the following events are sponsored by Galveston Reads, in cooperation with Rosenberg Library, a “One City, One Book” project from January through March 2010.

All fellow readers invited to attend this and upcoming events.

Please note that all events are free and open to the public

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Galveston Bookshop Hosts Second Discussion

Sharan Zwick and the Galveston Bookshop hosted a discussion on Tuesday evening, January 12, led by Elizabeth Spears, that started at 5:30 and finished, more or less, around 6:30 except that the cocoa and cookies gave everyone an excuse to stand around and talk a little more about the book and Galveston Reads in general. Much of the discussion dealt with the relationship between the rocket boys and their families and the community as a whole. At the beginning of the book, most parents believed that their male children would follow them into the mine, where the job was dangerous but the pay and the security were good. The rocket boys, however, forged a different path, one that originally met with great opposition but was embraced as they began to succeed and bring honors and awards to the community. At the same time, the residents of the town began to face the fact that their community was dying and their children, like the rocket boys, needed to find a path to the future outside of the town of Coalwood. Homer knew what he wanted to do from the moment he saw Sputnik trace across the sky, but without the help of valuable mentors and the eventual community support, it is possible that his dream may never have come to fruition. One of the rich aspect of the book was how "normal" so much of the boys' lives seem to be, filled with the ups and downs of teenage romance, adolescent sexuality, friendships, school work, dances, and school rivalries. This is juxtaposed against the boys' need to teach themselves, in a world without the Internet and limited library holding (although with some invaluable assistance from supportive adults), how to successfully build a rocket that could actually fly.

From the notes of Pat Jacobi...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Blasting off with Rocket Boys in 2010

Galveston Reads 2010 blasts off! The first GReads event was held at Mosquito CafĂ© on January 6, 2010. Pat Bumpus led a lively discussion of this year’s book, Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam. Readers may be familiar with the movie, “October Sky,” which was the film adaptation of Hickam’s memoir about growing up in the late 1950’s fascinated with rocketry while living in the declining mining town of Coalwood, Virginia. The participants in the first discussion agreed that the book is a true heart-warmer with many universal themes with which we all can relate. Similarities to Galveston’s decline since Hurricane Ike are obvious. Other prevalent themes were the impact of mentors on young people, parental hopes for their children, and economic forces on people’s lives. Hickam also illuminates his tale with various humorous escapades of his band of rocket boys. Readers will be inspired by this story of how one boy’s focus on a dream changed not only his life, but also the lives of his friends, family, and town, and now touches millions.

GReads encourages everyone in the city to read Rocket Boys, by Homer Hickam, as part of the Rosenberg Library, “One City, One Book” project. Whether you’ve read the book or not, join us for one of the upcoming discussion groups and be inspired! On March 9, 2010, one of the original rocket boys, Roy Lee, will visit Galveston – join us and hear the story come alive again!

The next book discussion group will be held at Galveston Bookshop on Tuesday, January 12 at 5:30 pm.

The following events are sponsored by Galveston Reads, in cooperation with Rosenberg Library, a “One City, One Book” project from January through March 2010.


J. Elizabeth Spears and Poom Sunhachawi-Taylor

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Kick off 2010

Great night with Pat Bumpus facilitating our discussion. Had quite a few GReads members, and Steve with refreshments and cookies, opened just for us!

Nice to see Gracie, Elizabeth, Beth and Fannie!

Wonderful start to the reading season at the Mosquito Cafe.