When I was in middle school (Yes, middle school, we didn’t have a “Junior high”, it was only 7th and 8th grades at OCMS), they developed this grouping system for us based on the different famous space shuttles. I guess they divided us up to better organize the students (in seventh grade, they named us 7a, 7b, 8a, and 8b, but I guess by 8th grade they needed a more sophisticated system). I guess this system worked ok, but the concept was just kinda ridiculous. See, the named them after Atlantis (which I was reminded of today because it blasted off), Discovery, Challenger, and Columbia. There was this giant mural painted on the cafeteria/commons area wall. Incredibly cheesy. I often wondered why they even threw Challenger in there. Sure, it was a great space shuttle, but with it’s tragic ending, I think I would have automatically left that one out. Anyway, I just find the concept of it kinda silly. By giving us space shuttle names and grouping us, was this seriously going to motivate us? I don’t remember us doing any shuttle/space related projects. Though, I will take that back. We did go to the Space Center in Huntsville, AL. I guess at the time that was a pretty cool weekend trip (the biggest I had been on without my ‘rents). Little details from that trip I remember? The red dirt in Alabama stood out to me, we watched an IMAX movie on Speed (think fast cars), we ate green jello, which I dubbed Martian poop, and we stayed in a bunker with bunk beds and restrooms dubbed “waste management”.
Don’t really know much about the flight program, space discovery, and all of that, but I just think it’s funny that when it is mentioned I am immediately reminded of 8th grade.