It’s sad that Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, passed away this week. The man famous for a feat un-replicated will never be forgotten. But it is with honour that we should all celebrate his life as an astronaut and a teacher.
Throughout the US there are many schools named in his honour related to his space travel fame. But after his space career, Armstrong turned to teaching and was University Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati.
With back to school around the corner, it’s time to reflect on the possibilities that humankind can achieve through exploration and education. In Canada we have a fantastic education system and all children have the opportunity to experience the wonderment of learning and the possibility of being the next Armstrong – to accomplish something that has never been done before.
One other small and amazing fact, is that Armstrong on his Apollo 11 mission had to manually take over the controls of the lunar module to avert disaster and death. When Armstrong noticed they were heading towards a potentially unsafe landing area, he took manual control with less than 45 seconds of fuel left.
It just goes to show that no matter how sophisticated technology is, it’s the education, training, intuition, and logical thought process of human beings that allow for safety. The same applies to driving.
When you’re heading back to school or to work on your bike, motorcycle, car, or truck, take a lesson from Armstrong: pay attention, keep your mind in the game and you can go places you never thought possible.
“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” Neil Armstrong, 1930 – 2012