Return to Headlines

NASA Comes to Bumpus

Anna Gilstrap
October 29, 2017

Scientist Frank Williams explains rocket componentry Frank Williams, a former NASA rocket scientist, visited R.F. Bumpus Middle School on Oct. 16 to meet and discuss his experiences with eighth-grade students, who were studying Newton’s Laws of Motion and rockets.

Williams, with the help of famed rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, designed the first rocket to go to the moon in Huntsville. Williams shared stories with the students about his time both as a member of the military and as a civilian, and of course his time at NASA.

Eighth grade science teacher Stan Doran arranged the visit for his students, who were engaged in a science unit related to rockets. For those students, meeting a former rocket scientist was truly out of this world.

“I was excited that Mr. Williams was actually a real rocket scientist that was involved with the first man going to the moon,” eighth-grader Srijan Meesala said.

Applying book knowledge to the real world is where the real learning happens, and it was a thrill as a teacher, Doran said.

“What I have seen by bringing in a ‘stakeholder’ to speak is that the students stretch their minds outside of what they have learned,” Doran said. “The students ask questions that propel them to ask another question then another. When you have true student engagement you have true learning.”

Williams’ visit also propelled students to think about technology we have today.

“It was also fascinating that Mr. Williams sent the rocket to the moon writing out his math. No calculators,” Meesala said.