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StaffIncremental BloggerRocket Boys and October Sky in Classrooms

Rocket Boys and October Sky in Classrooms

Homer Hickan wrote the true life story Rocket Boys: A Memoir on which the movie October Sky was based. they tell of great adventures 6 boys took in school and in an isolated small coal mining mountain town.

“So, how does it feel to have a movie made about your life?” That was the question I heard most often from the film crew when I visited the movie set where Universal Studios was producing a motion picture based on my book, Rocket Boys: A Memoir.

He offers support material for teachers to use in classes that read and discuss Rocket Boys and his other books. Teacher testimonials indicate that students find value in reading about how six boys built and successfully launced their own rocket in Coalwood.

I wonder how many students will appreciate a teacher as much as these boys still do?

Perhaps teachers will use Google Earth and other online features with mobile PCs to enhance these stories further.

I look forward to students telling how a teacher initiated arrangements to help a student build her first robot from scratch, hand wire his first computer from discarded parts, etc. against many distractions and obstacles.

I’m sure these people and their stories exist in and around schools today. Please pass along any of these kinds of stories for us to read.

Thanks, Homer, and please keep up your great story telling.

Robert Heiny
Robert Heinyhttp://www.robertheiny.com
Robert W. Heiny, Ph.D. is a retired professor, social scientist, and business partner with previous academic appointments as a public school classroom teacher, senior faculty, or senior research member, and administrator. Appointments included at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Peabody College and the Kennedy Center now of Vanderbilt University; and Brandeis University. Dr. Heiny also served as Director of the Montana Center on Disabilities. His peer reviewed contributions to education include publication in The Encyclopedia of Education (1971), and in professional journals and conferences. He served s an expert reviewer of proposals to USOE, and on a team that wrote plans for 12 state-wide and multistate special education and preschools programs. He currently writes user guides for educators and learners as well as columns for TuxReports.com.

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  1. Love the movie. What is relevant is that the teacher made use of a constructivist learning theory and engaged in a great example of problem based learning. The example of team work there is also quite good as they passed through the various phases of becoming a high performance team.

  2. Thanks, Steve, for your insights. It’s also one of my favorite movies, but for a different reason. My father was an air pioneer with a similar passion for flying machines as the Rocket Boys. I, probably like you, tried to approach teaching and learning in similar ways as these pioneers. Also, thanks for your blog. I look forward to learning from your posts.