Henry Hunt

Working with teachers, students and administrators to change the way we educate and provide opportunities to students across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Get better every day.

IF Aerospace Event Highlights Out of this World Opportunity in Kentucky

(Morehead, Ky) – Many times we talk about technology-based job opportunities for our students.  The Kentucky Aerospace Industry is real.  It is growing.  It is an international leader.  Read about the annual IF Aerospace Conference in Morehead.  Session Videos are available as well.

Representatives from Kentucky’s largest manufacturing export industry, Aerospace, gathered for the third annual conference in Morehead, Ky. It is estimated the Kentucky Aerospace industry represents over $8.7 billion in exports each year.

Government officials, including Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton and House Majority Floor Leader, Rocky Adkins, talked about the importance of the industry to Kentucky not only in terms of dollars, but even more importantly because of Kentucky’s leadership position in certain segments of the industry.  Video Available.

IF Aerospace is a regional event of IdeaFestival, which now holds four statewide conferences. Kris Kimel, President of IdeaFestival said, “With all the small satellite and electronic tracking work going on at MSU, Morehead is a natural location for this event.”   During his talk, Kimel challenged the audience to work toward the next “Moonshot Idea”. He identified organizations such as Space Tango and the Exomedicine Institute as potential “game changers” in what they were trying to accomplish, and in what they can do for Kentucky.  Video Available.

President of Morehead State University, Dr. Wayne Andrews talked about Morehead State’s role in producing the skilled labor force that will drive these opportunities in eastern Kentucky. Rajant Corporation, a leader in advanced communication networks, is opening a Morehead office that plans to hire six recent MSU graduates from the Space Science program later this year.  Video Available.

Dr. Ben Malphrus, Director of the MSU Space Science Center outlined the Universities leadership role in the IceCube Mission which will send a small “suite case” size satellite to the moon in search of ice that may be used to produce drinking water and rocket fuel. Representatives from NASA were on hand to show how the MSU Mission will launch in 2018 from the maiden voyage of the most powerful rocket ever built, EM-1.  Video Available.

“Few people know how important Aerospace is to the Kentucky economy and it is growing,” according to director of the Kentucky Aerospace Council, Mike Young, “It is bigger than automotive, bourbon, horse racing or any other product that we export.” Conferences like this help industry, education and government align efforts to take advantage of this unique statewide opportunity to create companies, careers and opportunity in the state.

IF Aerospace is a non-profit industry conference sponsored by Morehead State University, Space Tango, Kentucky Innovation Network, MSU Space Science Center and Dataseam.  View the complete set of Session Videos.

This I Believe


Guest Blogger Rebecca Roach is Professional Development Associate in the 21st Century Education Enterprise at Morehead State University.

What Do You Believe?

Could you express your personal creed in 500 words or less?

This was the challenge Edward R. Murrow presented to American in the 1950’s during a time when ideology threatened to divide us as a nation.  He asked Americans, both famous and common, to compose essays on the core values that guided their daily lives.  He then recorded the authors reading these aloud and aired them on his radio program.  Murrow’s goal was “to point to the common meeting grounds of beliefs, which is the essence of brotherhood and the floor of our civilization.”

In 2005, Dan Gediman and Jay Allison revived the program on National Public Radio. Since then, thousands of teachers all over the world have challenged their students to do just that-to write what they believe.  These essays have taken the form of personal narratives, essays and even lists.  Even kindergarten students have done it.

So often our students are bombarded with a world that seeks to define them, and too often they are not asked to stop and listen to the language of their own hearts and minds.  Asking someone “what do you believe?” is as significant as asking, “who are you—really?”  Writing your own creed is the act of becoming your own person.  Listening to each other’s essay with an open heart and mind is the art of building a classroom community.

Last summer I was privileged to work with 23 elementary teachers from Eastern Kentucky schools during the Kentucky Reading Project 10-day workshop. Utilizing the free materials available on the This I Believe site, these teachers were able to compose essays that were funny, sad and incredibly moving.   On the last day of our workshop, we read aloud our essays in a “laughter and tears” celebration of who we are.  I firmly believe that whenever possible authors should read aloud their own work, so I, with the help of my son, William, recorded and uploaded the read-aloud versions of these essays to Dataseam Studio, where you can listen to them too.

For more information on the This I Believe project, please visit their website at thisibelieve.org  At this site you will find collections of earlier published essays, audio essays for streaming, educators’ guides for early and upper grades as well as guides for houses of worship. From there your students can create their own essays for your classroom podcasts.