This summer, Sandy Wisneski went to outer space and back, and along the way, she learned how to stop an egg from getting fried by a blowtorch.

   No, this wasn’t real outer space. But for Wisneski and an elite group of fellow teachers from around the world, it was the next best thing.

   She donned space gear, bounced around in a weightless environment, escaped from a sinking fuselage, soared down a zipline into water, got jumbled in a spinning simulator and, yes, saved an egg.

   The Ripon Catalyst Charter Middle School teacher recently returned from Honeywell Space Academy for educators.

   The five-day whirlwind of hands-on adventure took place in June at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

   For Wisneski, this was an amazing experience — one she intends to draw on when students return this fall.

“It fits perfectly with our STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program that we have at Catalyst, and I hope to share it with the entire building,” she said.

   Wisneski learned about the opportunity through a colleague from Georgia, who sent Wisneski a link to check out and perhaps apply for.

   “So last fall, on a whim, I thought, ‘I’ll give ’er a go,’” Wisneski said. “I thought, ‘This sounds really exciting.’ I always like to challenge myself and try new things, because I think in teaching, you have to challenge yourself.”

   She forgot about it until this spring, when she suddenly got word she was accepted. That’s one of just 200 teachers around the world, out of about 1,000 who applied.

   Wisneski was the only one from Wisconsin.

   “I said, ‘I guess I’m going to Space Camp,’” she said. “[The camp included] someone from India, Australia, Turkey, South Africa and then from around the United States.”

   With all expenses and meals paid for by a scholarship through Honeywell, Wisneski enjoyed the many hands-on activities and networking. Each day was packed with activities ... Continue reading the full story in the July 3 issue of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.