David Tourtellot, an elementary level strings teacher in the Lee’s Summit School District, is among 35 teachers nationwide selected for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2018 Teacher at Sea program.
For 18 days in July, he will be part of the crew of the NOAA ship Thomas Jefferson, which will be using sonar to map the sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico.
The program is designed to help teachers make connections between the agency’s work and the curriculum taught in classrooms. Tourtellot is thought to be the first music teacher selected for Teacher at Sea.
“I decided to apply for this because I thought it would be a unique experience and a great way for me to make connections between music and science,” Tourtellot said. “I can’t wait to share all I learn with my students.”
As part of his duties on board, Tourtellot will keep a blog that will be shared with other teachers. The blog will detail his activities and the underlying science, written in student-friendly terms. The blog is available at teacheratsea.noaa.gov/#/2018/David*Tourtellot/blogs.
The Teacher at Sea program comprises three types of missions: fisheries research, oceanographic research and hydrographic surveys, which the Thomas Jefferson will be doing.
“I didn’t specify a preference, though I was hoping I’d get assigned this type of mission, as I thought it was most closely related to what I teach,” he said.
Tourtellot has worked as a Lee’s Summit R-7 traveling strings teacher since 2013. He currently works at Longview Farm, Lee’s Summit, Summit Pointe and Trailridge elementary schools. The Gulf of Mexico cruise will be an new adventure for him.
“The largest boat I’ve ever been on is a pontoon,” he said, “and I’ve never been on the ocean before.”
SCA students tour aerospace firm
Several secondary students from Summit Christian Academy recently visited Ultrax Aerospace Inc., a high-tech Lee’s Summit company that helps aviation businesses better manage maintenance of their aircraft.
The tour was made possible through the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council, which works to connect schools with local businesses. The students received encouragement from Ultrax employees and got a peek into the innards of a helicopter.
“Our mission is to inspire students to meet their God-given potential, and our students’ visit with Ultrax did exactly that,” said SCA Academic Dean Kimberlee Gill.
Three from Summit Ridge headed to Teen Fringe Festival
Three students at Summit Ridge Academy have been selected for the Teen Fringe Festival, scheduled for July in Kansas City.
Jette Williams’ artwork will be displayed July 19-30 at Kansas City Young Audiences during the festival.
Metal Roach, a band including twin brothers Max and Miles James, will perform from 7:30 to 8 p.m. July 20 at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art as the opening act for the teen festival. The band will also perform from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 21 at Kansas City Young Audiences.
The band members will compete with other musicians, and the band with the largest crowd will be selected to perform at the Fringe finale. Metal Roach, which formed in 2016, is a heavy metal band that has appeared on the main stage at the Lee’s Summit Oktoberfest and at Kansas City’s Riot Room.
The three students were recommended for the Teen Fringe Festival by Kim Blevins, their teacher at Summit Ridge Academy.
Compiled by Elaine Adams, Special to the Journal