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My Fourth Grade Teacher

John Platz

December 2, 2012

In fourth grade we did two things that cemented my love of science in general and specifically space. My teacher taught us how to triangulate a star. She tagged the far fence on the playground with a piece of construction paper, armed us with 50 ft. tape measures and taught us the trig to do the calculations. We came within a couple of inches of being exact. She also taught us to use a slide rule and explained enough about logarithms for us to understand how the slide rule worked. That's it in a nutshell. It was 1958. That's what this country needs to put us back on top educationally. No joke at all. We have failed to continue to spark this desire in our youth. I spent 35 years trying to do the same. I know I succeeded in a couple of places. I've got one former student who is or was an anchor at CNN, Phillips, and one NATO tank commander who attended West Point partially due to over eighty rocket launches I supervised, Johnson.


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