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Eriq La Salle
Immense faith of a special education teacher in the abilities of his students realize a dream that remains a dream for quite a many. Being the first special education team to attend the NASA's prestigious space camp program, Mike and his class reminds us of the remarkable power of the human spirit.Written by
Thejus Joseph Jose
Space Camp actually "franchises" itself, with internationally licensed Space Camps presently (as of 2012) including: Space Camp Turkey, Space Camp Canada (known as "Camp Spatial" in French), Space Camp Spain, European Space Camp (located at Andøya Rocket Range) in Norway, and Space Camp Belgium. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center Foundation is in the process of licensing additional camps in Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, India, and Malaysia. See more »
After the Orbiter lands at the end of the mission, the scene inside the simulated cockpit has the sound of jet engines slowing down. The orbiter does not have any jet engines, and doesn't even use rocket engines during landing; it simply glides to its landing. See more »
The movie, which stars John Corbett, is based on the memoir by teacher Mike Kersjes with Joe Layden in the 1980′s. It gives an inside look into the way one educator empowered special needs students who were often bullied by others to find compassion and respect for everyone. In the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, many of the special-ed students were played by young actors who have Down syndrome, autism and learning disabilities. Space Camp is a competitive education program at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Even though it's designed for gifted science students, Mike, a special education teacher and football coach at a Michigan high school, decides participating in the science program would do wonders for the self-esteem of his students – especially Ben, a boy with Down syndrome, who dreams of becoming an astronaut.
Aided by fellow teacher Robynn McKinney, Mike faces incredible obstacles in trying to make his dream become reality. School administrators oppose the plan as being too expensive. Space Camp officials are skeptical: They've never had special-ed kids apply before.
At long last, Mike and his students are given the green light. And then the real challenges begin, over nine months of rigorous teaching, learning, training and fund-raising. The kids are belittled and in some cases bullied by their fellow classmates, but Mike finds a way to keep them on track. He even convinces the school's football team, his other students, to help them prepare for the intense physical challenges of Space Camp. The class finally leaves for Huntsville, Alabama. Will kids with Down syndrome, Tourette's, learning disabilities and emotional problems be able to leave their baggage behind, coalesce into a team, and compete with some of the brightest students from across the country!
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