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What's LT all about? Read "What Happened in LT I Central NH 2008-09" By LT I Alum Cindy Najem

Reporter-at-Large: Cindy Najem, LT I 0809 Alum

LT I Central NH 2008-2009
Math/Engineering Day at PSNH Energy Park
Manchester, NH
Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our second session day for LT I Central New Hampshire was held at Public Service of New Hampshire Energy Park on November 12, 2008. It is true that we heard about chemical, thermal, electrical, mechanical, geothermal, and just about every kind of energy that is currently known. What else would you expect to hear at PSNH Energy Park?

There also was a high voltage of energy flowing throughout the many presentations that we heard. The presenters were all energy generators themselves. There was positive energy, down-to-earth energy, excitable energy, passionate energy, hard-working energy, risk-taking energy, humorous energy, enthusiastic energy, energized energy, imaginative energy, and maybe even a little nervous energy on my part. At the end of the day, just when you think that all your energy has been exhausted, drained, and zapped out of you, you find out that there is renewable energy. It could easily be seen that these presenters expect and demand quality work of themselves and the people they work with. They try to hire the best of the best and people who fit in with their work ethics.

The day’s summary for us in the teaching profession included many key points such as

• Shaping personality is as important as teaching knowledge.
• Staying positive and avoiding criticism
• Importance of communication
• Different work ethics of generations
• Critical thinking skills – not just the resume, but the whole person
• Open-ended questions
• Hearing about job skills and bringing that information back to the classroom
• Always see the positives of failure and what does that teach you
• Change paradigm of thinking in terms of what success is
• Being a team player and having the necessary social skills

The day was planned and organized by Tom Mitchell an Electrical Engineer who works as a field engineer at PSNH. The day was geared toward Math and Engineering and how PSNH uses these skills, what they look for in employees, and how problems are analyzed on the job. We were fortunate to have met quite a few employees from PSNH who were able to not only share what the day was geared to, but their passionate energy about their jobs.

Our first presenter was Mr. Bill Smagula who is the Director of Generation. Tom called him the Generation Guy. At first I had no idea what they meant by that. Were they talking about generation x, generation y? …but I went with the flow and caught on. (Talk about being in your own little teaching world.)

He spoke about his childhood, the influences his teachers had upon him, and how they steered him in the right direction. His background was built by sports and education and he was quite pleased to see male teachers in the group. He told the teachers at the session that the connections we make with our students are critical. “Shaping personality is as important as teaching knowledge.” These are words that every teacher can connect to.

He explained how it was his job to make sure that the electrons that come down the wires get to our houses; generating electricity. He explained the process of how chemical energy becomes thermal by heating up hot gases to make steam to turn turbines which requires mechanical energy which is then made into electrical energy. (Could you feel the current running through that sentence? I hope I got it correct.) He said that to get from the fuel to do all of this, requires sophisticated technology and there are basically three things that he looks for in future employees; What is their education? How do they think/problem solve? Is this person a good person?

Mr. Smagula said, “Most of our employees have an associate’s degree. Going further shows that you want to better yourself.” He said that grades are an indicator, but not a determinant in hiring. Holding situational interviews gets the job applicants to talk about their experiences and see how they think and react when given hypothetical situations. These kinds of interviews reveal for instance that someone who may have a lot of experience, might not have the necessary people skills for a particular job. The 3rd piece of this whole interview process is deciding the kind of character traits this person has. “Is this person a good person? Is there a sense of urgency? Is there a sense of good work ethics? Is this person hard working?”

When new people are hired, he gives them advice and tells them to not get distracted by criticisms of the company, to do the right thing, to be a positive person, and not create distractions for the work force.

He also said that the work ethic of the younger generation is more laid back than the older generation. Having diverse employees is important because once they learn a certain skill, they can learn things in other skills.

His ending thoughts were the result of questions being asked. He spoke about being a coach, and how having losing teams is important in the overall picture. It teaches children to face adversity. It teaches them coping skills. He said that children need extra curricular activities because it forces them to manage their time. Written communication and good verbal skills are very important because you may have the greatest technical skills ever, but if you can’t communicate the message out and interact, how is the job going to get completed?

Our second speaker was a very energetic women, Ms. Ingrid Rahaim, who is the Supervisor of Sub Station Engineering Design. She engineers, designs substations, and oversees the project from start to finish. It takes a lot of team work and it involves working with a System Planning and Strategy Team, Distribution Substation Engineering Team and a Field Engineering and Operations Team. They also work with business and town officials and attend planning board meetings. She plans project schedules and groups of people who need to communicate with each other throughout the various stages of the project. It seems like an overwhelming and daunting task to say the least and what is most amazing is that she has multiple substation projects happening at the same time! She is an engineer who loves what she does! The word planning takes on a whole new meaning for me!

Mr. John Cartmill showed us a movie on the history of PSNH; how it evolved from Amoskeag to where it is now. He then took us on a tour of the beautiful building full of history. Everyone was impressed. However, we never got to see the Chimney Room, because it was in use.

Mr. Thomas Mitchell, a field engineer and planner of our PSNH day spoke about his WiFi Experiment. He started his energized talk about how the British fought wars. They used the same formation for x number of years, but with a purpose. (Everyone had to stay in formation, no one would run off because the enemy would see you running away and your red coat was a dead give-away, blood blended in with the red jacket so others wouldn’t panic, and the many other interesting points that he mentioned.) He was trying to make a point that sometimes you need to try new ideas. He talked about how they did pilot test using broadband over internet lines. The idea was to inject and transmit data, voice, and video signals over high signals. The signal was going to run on conductors. They tested a small area in Massachusetts and to make a long story short, they were having trouble giving away the internet service for free. So it failed, not just because of that but other factors came into play, but in the failure there was a success in that it told the company that it was not a good idea to do this. It wasn’t cost effective. He was able to see the positives of failure. An important lesson for everyone and certainly all teachers can relate to this.

Mr. Al Marandola talked to us about Fault Analysis. He shared about what he does in designing programs and implementing cycles into the millisecond and microsecond range.(Never heard of seconds like that before!) It was just fascinating on what he has to look at when he problem solves. Certainly I think his brain is wired very differently from mine, but we can all appreciate the passion he brings to his job and we can all have peace of mind in knowing that there are people like him who make our lives easier with the flick of a switch.

After that, we all had a delicious lunch to energize ourselves for the afternoon. We got to talk to employees of PSNH while we dined at the round table luncheon.

We worked off our lunch by participating in a scavenger hunt. We were given four people’s ‘weapons’ which were artifacts of their work, a map and our own personal guide. Our guide was Mr. Jack Schelling. We met four wonderful employees: Mr. Tony Strabone, an Electrical Engineer in the Substation Engineering group; Mr. Lucas Croteau, a Projection and Control Engineer who monitors current and voltage thresholds; Mr. Brian Dickey, Senior Engineer System Planning Person, who studies a span of time, uses historical data, and looks at fees at some point for every customer and Mr. Issa, an accountant who does budget analysis. He deals with the Energy Efficient Program and the Home Electric Assistance Program.

Our last speaker was Mr. Jack Cleary who spoke to us on geothermal heating and cooling, solar electric systems, and wind power as alternate energy sources. He explained about the earth loop types and the geothermal heating and cooling process. He said that there are incentives and credits out there for people to purchase renewable energy systems and expects that there may be more with a new administration coming into play.

He also emphasized skills that he looks for in graduates. Interpersonal skills are very important he said no matter what level you are at. All his employees deal with customers and you need to know how to communicate effectively. He also stressed that he believes in a team focus. He said that everyone working together achieves more. He stressed that doing things right the first time is very important. Making a mistake or being shy in your workmanship could be costly…it could even cost you your life.

Elizabeth spoke about PSU graduate credits offered by Leadership Teacher and closed the day by summarizing the events.

Imagination has brought mankind through the dark ages to its present state of civilization.
Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. L.Frank Baum author of the Wizard of Oz

Where will our imaginations take us and what will our imaginations do?

Respectfully submitted by
Cindy Najem

LT I Central NH 2008-2009
History/Social Studies Day
NH Political Library and Red River Theatres
Concord, NH
Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Our third session for LTI Central New Hampshire was on December 9, 2008. It was held in two locations. The morning location was at the New Hampshire Political Library in Concord, NH. The afternoon location was at the Red River Theaters, also located in Concord, NH.

Today’s topic was Telling A Story and rightfully so. We heard many stories today. Some made us proud, some made us more educated, some made us laugh, some made us happy, some made us mad, some made us sad, some made us tell our own stories, and all the stories made us reflect.

The stories in the morning session were all fascinating. They educated us about the life of President Franklin Pierce and how important it was for him as President to uphold the U.S. Constitution. All the stories in the morning session gave us a sense of respect for the political process in New Hampshire as well. How important NH’s tradition is…meetings with political candidates at the town hall, diner, coffee shop, backyard cookouts, etc. How important it is for NH to be First in the Nation.

The stories in the afternoon session were equally as fascinating. Our hostess was Connie Rosemont who is the Interim Executive Director of the Red River Theaters. She shared the story of how a group of volunteer people got together at the end of 2000 to start this theatre establishment. It took six to seven years to find real estate and money to get it going. We also viewed the film Born into Brothels.

Jeffrey Simmons shared a great article titled, Diploma to Nowhere. He opened the discussion by saying that when students go off to college, many find out that they have to take remedial classes in reading and math. High schools are not doing enough to prepare students. If this seems to be the trend, what can we do to help this?

The day’s summary for us in the teaching profession included many points to continue reflecting on:
Who are the decision makers as to what we teach? Why are they the policy makers? How can we change what we need to change?
• Get involved…There’s nothing as great as a volunteer whether you are a student or teacher.
• NH has a tradition of people involved in their community.
• Teach respect for the political process in NH.
• Education is a gift and we need to teach students to value their education. Learning doesn’t stop. It is a life long process.
• Educators need to be empowered to effect change – what are new ways or options to do this?
• When educators are empowered, students are empowered to take ownership for their own education.
• Students who are passed along…well there is plenty of blame for that. What can we do to stop this?

More detailed notes of the day follow:
Michael Chaney, President and CEO of the NH Political Library, was our host for the morning session. He gave an overview of the NH primary, its role and the unique place that NH has in the process of the Presidential election. He spoke about what is the NH political process, why is it the way it is, and why are our rules written this way?
He gave a little history of the Pierce Manse. The building was the home of Franklin Pierce and his family. The house was on Montgomery Street in Concord near the Capitol building. In 1968 President Johnson started initiating the urban renewal programs. The home, which was right where the Stewart Nelson Plaza was to be developed, was in the way. A group of volunteers called the Pierce Brigade raised money to have it moved to its present location. The Political Library exists to provide educational programs for school age children and adult audiences to learn about the NH Primary and the NH political culture. Campaign workers, candidates, and journalists from around the world use the Pierce Manse.
Mr. Chaney also spoke about the reason why the NH Primary exists. It goes back to the structure of how NH got started. It was all about taxation and adequate representation of the colonists’ interests. This all led to the revolution which then led directly to having the third largest legislature in the world. The US Congress and the English Parliament are first and second respectively.

In 1952 it was the beginning of the modern primary. It first started in 1916 with a decision of a political party nominating a party candidate. This effort in 1916 was to expand the voice of the citizens. It is very easy to get yourself on the ballot in the NH primary. With check or cash for $1,000.00 and a collection of signatures, candidates have a good chance. He mentioned that in SC it costs $35,000. Candidates bring specific issues to the tables and earn media coverage. The NH Primary levels the playing field in political cultures. He said that NH has a Lesser Known Candidate forum and he gave the example of Eugene McCarthy, who was not well known, but had a good performance in the NH primary. The last point that he wanted to make is that there is an interest point on both sides of the spectrum. Candidates want to get into office and NH’s goal is to get candidates that we like into office. There is always a continued analysis and tinkering on how we select our presidents. NH voters come to the polls at the high percentage that they do. There is a political culture that the voters demand.

Important question for the future…
How likely is NH going to be able to retain to be the first in the primary? We have a very good case for what happens here. We need to keep our eye on the ball and advocate effectively. The case for NH is strong and voters take things very seriously. He also said that the National Republican Committee created a rule that gave NH and Iowa recognition of the early process. There are always threats to the NH primary. Bill Gardener, Secretary of State, sets the date of NH Primary. He has the sole authority to do this. Mr. Chaney said that there will always be threats to the NH political primary.
He then introduced Mr. Jim Merrill, an attorney, who was Mitt Romney’s Campaign Director for NH. He took fourteen months leave from his job as the Managing Director of Devine Strategies, LLC, to work with Mitt Romney. He emphasized that NH matters in the whole Presidential process. He said that our process is so special and we do everything for the right reasons. Voters like to be informed and educated.
He spoke about some of his experiences with Mitt Romney and how NH forces candidates to be human. He also said that voters ask questions that are important to them and sometimes the questions will “trip up” a candidate. “Voters humanize candidates.” The NH way consists of meetings in the coffee shops, diners, town halls, voters’ homes, backyard cookouts, etc. Mass media doesn’t work well…especially in the North Country, but word of mouth does as well as political signs and phone calls.
He ended by saying that we need to support the Electoral College. If we get rid of it, no candidate will come to NH. The Rules Committee for the Republicans says that NH goes first. NH gets it right and we do it the right way. The whole process in NH is very humbling.

We then had a look at the political process that takes place behind the scenes with Mike Hamilton, who is the Executive Director of the NH Republicans and with Mike Brunelle, who is the Executive Director of the NH Democratic Party. These dynamic, young men spoke about how they got started in politics around the ages of seventeen. Mike Brunelle said that he always had a genuine excitement and interest in the candidates that he was working for. He commented on how there is nothing as great as a volunteer. “Volunteers are passionate like the candidates that you want to elect.” Mike Hamilton said that he was always aware of current affairs and loved watching the news and reading newspapers. “Campaigns love the free labor. It is hard work and long hours, but I like being in the mix of it all.” Mike Hamilton was a field staffer for Mitt Romney and worked 3 ½ years for a polling firm. He now takes care of state party fundraisers, organizes debates, and special events. Mike Brunelle worked with the bottom of the ticket from Governor Lynch - down. He needed to help those candidates win the elections. He also had to delegate the selection process – how delegates are selected and monitor volunteers that come in.
They both spoke about NH being first in the Nation. Mike Brunelle said that if and before that changes, we will see a change in the caucus system. He said that a caucus is a party event and a primary is a state event. He also said that with a caucus, you can win, if you have an organized campaign. He said that the party that is more organized wins here. NH doesn’t like to be told how things are going to go before it happens. Mike Hamilton commented on the resources that a party has. Money plays an important part and how you devote your resources can make a big difference in the outcome of an election. He related this to the current election and spoke about it. They both agreed that when there is an election cycle it is important for teachers to tell their students to get involved. Anybody in the state can get involved and help out with campaigns.

We next heard from Caroline Amport who is the Education Director of the NH Political Library. She has a degree in Anthropology and Archaeology and a Masters in Political Policy. Her first job in NH was working for 6 school districts as a supervisor for Teach America and could sympathize with teachers. She knows that teachers are distracted by all the policy issues that come down the pipeline. Her work at the NH Political Library is to build a continuum of curriculum. She knows it is a NH tradition of being involved with your community. There is a history of civic engagement and she used Franklin Pierce as an example. Not only was he the fourteenth President of the United States and from NH, but he also advocated for nominating conventions in the nation.

We then had a tour of the Pierce Manse given by Joan Davis who is a volunteer and member of the Pierce Brigade. She told us stories about Franklin Pierce’s personal, military, political, and Presidential life as we went from room to room in this beautiful historic house. She was very informing as well as entertaining.

We then met with Dean Spilotes who is a political author, scientist, and analyst. He formerly was a professor of presidential politics at Dartmouth College and he was a professor at Saint Anselm’s College. He writes and has a website www.nhpoliticalcapitol.com. He gave us an introduction to the NH primary, how it all started and why it is where it is today . He spoke about the arguments against NH being first…NH is too white, very small, rural, and not very diverse. NH counteracts those arguments with… other states are jealous, they want more visibility, they want the money that comes into the state, NH does has more diversity, and the legislature gave the Secretary of State power to set filing deadlines. He said the real issue is – “Should NH keep its role in the process?” Yes, for the following reasons… It is such a small state, it can move the primary fairly quickly, and it does provide a service to the candidates. The process in NH helps the candidates to work on their campaign organization, helps them to hone in on their message, helps them to have seasoned campaigns, the voters in NH are savvy, and there is a high participation of people voting. It succeeds because we have a representative democracy. The process is brutal, but it works.

We had a delicious round table luncheon and then relocated to the Red River Theatres.
Upon arriving at the Red River Theatres, Connie Rosemont introduced herself and gave us a tour of this new establishment. She spoke about the group that started the Red River Theatres. This group was totally committed to civic life. They wanted to share cultural and artistic experiences with an audience. “It was a very powerful experience to work with a group of people who really believed in something.” Their challenge is in making connections to different community groups and finding ways for the theatre to offer more. They want to use films to raise awareness about sociopolitical issues.

Our group watched a private viewing of Born into Brothels. It was a story about a photographer who taught children of prostitutes to take pictures and how these pictures give a realistic representation of their world. She also tried to get them out of the brothels by helping them to enroll in different schools. A few of them stayed in the boarding schools, but others didn’t due to lack of family/parental support. It was a very powerful film. Connie mentioned that one of the children in the film did visit the Concord area and they had him speak at the Red River Theatres after a public viewing of the film.
After the film we discussed Jeff’s article that he shared titled, Diploma to Nowhere. This article brought up some great discussions on competencies, how every competency has a competency, how we are afraid to fail students, experiential learning, and how there are multiple ways to demonstrate knowledge. It comes down to the fact that students need to know how to read and write.

Elizabeth closed the discussions with how Leadership Teacher provides teachers with the power to effect change. Educators create change with new ways to go about doing things. The way to empower students is by empowering educators.
And with that, I leave you with a quote. “Never forget that getting big things done all year long isn’t about magic. It’s about leadership.” Santa Claus
Taken from The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus

Respectfully submitted by
Cindy Najem
December 16, 2008

LT I Central NH 2008-2009
Science/Biotech and Tech/Innovation Day
SEE Science Center and Catholic Medical Center
Manchester, NH
Friday, January 23, 2009

Our fourth session for LT1 for Central New Hampshire was on January 23, 2009. It was held in two locations. The first location was at the SEE Science Center. The second location was at Catholic Medical Center, also in Manchester, NH.
Today’s topic was Science/Biotech and Tech/Innovation Day.

Biotechnology – What is it really? A definition follows: It is technological applications that involves biology whether it be a biological system or living organisms that make or modify products or processes for specific use- especially in agriculture, food science, and medicine. That is a mouthful that I will need to try to explain to myself so that I can better understand this day.

We started our day at the SEE Science Museum and were quite amazed with all that we heard and saw. It is a museum which helps people to understand and enjoy science, math, and technology by getting them excited while viewing the engaging exhibits that are there. We were impressed with the LEGO® Millyard. What is child’s play to most of us, can certainly be something spectacular to all of us. As Mr. Heusser said, “What you see isn’t always, what is there.” Next to the SEE Museum is FIRST which inspires young people to become involved in Science and Technology. They were also involved in the LEGO® Millyard project. They also do a lot with robotics and after listening to the da-Vinci Robotics talk by Celeste Legere at CMC, you can’t help wonder about what inventions of the future will be inspired by our young adults who are given opportunities to think outside the box in technology and science right now because of places like the SEE Science Museum and FIRST.

We were very well informed by the CMC staff that spoke to us and we all know the importance of a great healthcare facility firsthand. We can all appreciate the wonders of modern medicine and procedures after listening to the dedicated healthcare professionals that spoke to us today. Peggy Lambert said that nurses make up the healthcare system. With all these technological advances, nurses can better perform their duties, but however, one thing that hasn’t changed, is their ability to care for their patients. Where would we be without them?

Nurses are the heartbeat of health care. ~Author Unknown

So our Biotech day involved many technological applications that involved biology – living organisms to be specific – us to be more specific - where we are making products (medicine and machines) and modifying their processes in the use of medicine. In reality it also encompasses agriculture because the medicine may come from a food source. This helps to explain the definition for me!

More detailed notes about our day follow below:

We began our day at the See Science Museum where we were warmly greeted by Mr. Peter Gustafson. He talked about his involvement with the museum. He started as a tour guide, worked on exhibits; either building them or maintaining them, and is now a development person who does funding and grant writing for the museum. He whole heartily believes in the mission of the See Science Museum and writing grants is made a lot easier because of the passion he has for his job. He does lots of listening, uses contacts and builds new contacts, and identifies funding opportunities by using Grant Station, which is an online service to find sources.

He also explained how important it is to get people excited about science and math technology. “When you get people involved, they come back”. The SEE Museum does well because they have many repeat customers like partnerships with public and private schools, home school children, and families. They also have partnerships with other museums; like the Currier, partnerships with local organizations like First Place; which has a robotic program, and they have even seen a growing interest in Senior Groups coming to visit. He said that it is all about the mission, not about the money.

He said that when the LEGO® Millyard Project was constructed, it was a community effort. They welcomed anyone and children, as well as adults, could come in on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 9pm to work on the millyard. They saw parents and grandparents coming in.

The LEGO® Millyard Project is certainly a sight to see! It is made of about three million LEGO® bricks and eight thousand figures. It has running water and is the largest permanent LEGO® exhibit. Equally impressive were the houses that were off to the side and the history behind them. I learned things about Manchester that I never knew before. The partnerships that were involved in this great undertaking of a project were the SEE Science Center, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), CLD (Consulting Engineers Inc.), NELUG (New England LEGO® Users Group), and the LEGO® Company. One might ask, “How does a project like this get started?” I guess it starts with someone’s idea/vision and the laying down of one brick. It’s child’s play! Simply Amazing!

We toured the other exhibits at the Center as well. The exhibits are built in house, by volunteers, purchased from exhibit manufacturers, and some are hand me downs from other museums. They also do contests for exhibits, but they do not swap/share exhibit ideas.

After our tour, we met with Mr. Douglas Heuser who is the SEE Science Center Director. He spoke to us about new initiatives and opportunities. The SEE Science Center was started with a grant that he wrote in 1984. In 1986 it opened and has been growing ever since. He said that he had no idea of how big an undertaking it was. He said that the purpose was to get people engaged and think about science in a different way; to work on the power of observation and make them aware of everything.
He brought that point home as he bounced a ball and demonstrated that what you see isn’t always what is there.

He said that the SEE Science Center is in the process of creating “The Next Big Thing”. He couldn’t really tell us what it is for it is in the developing stage. He did tell us that it could cost upwards of two-hundred million dollars and it would require lots of space.
We will just have to wait and see what develops and unfolds at this gem of a place in Manchester!

Elizabeth and Roger talked about the Social Entrepreneurial Student Leadership Challenge. Roger spoke about his students and their involvement with this challenge. He said that it helps high school students get ready for the working world. It also helps them to connect with their community. “It is an extra tool for learning and they can win money.”

Jane shared a great book, Hold onto Your Kids, Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D. and Gabor Mate, M.D.

Tamara shared her web quest site which gave directions on how to create a web quest.

Jeffrey shared a lesson for teachers titled Who Knows Who. It involves getting to know the staff in your building.

We then left the SEE Museum and went to Catholic Medical Center. Upon our arrival, we received another warm greeting; this time from Morgan Smith, Director of Organizational Development and Training. She has a very diverse schedule. In her former jobs she was dealing with budgets and staffs, and now she helps and creates programs to help other people grow.

CMC focuses on keeping their employees happy and encourages them to grow from within the medical center. They believe that their best assets are their own people. They have a Leadership Academy which nurtures managers to help them grow in their careers. They do team building unit by unit to help them set strategies and create goals and objectives. She stressed that communication is very important to CMC. They believe that teamwork is best when it is small because it makes it more personal.

She introduced us to JoAnne Manson who is a Physician’s Assistant in Cardiology. She is a Lead Mid–Level Provider for New England Heart Institute. She said that a Physician’s Assistant is a dependent provider who works with physicians. She said that most programs are moving toward a master’s degree and prior healthcare experience is necessary. There are six areas that one can work in as a PA. They are Emergency Medicine, Surgery and Subspecialties, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Family Practice. She said that it is one of the fastest growing jobs and it is a very rewarding career choice.

Our next speaker was Celeste Legere, RN, BS, Certified Nurse, OR(CNOR) – Unit Based Educator, Surgical Services – da Vinci Robotics. She is a surgical technician nurse who went to school for nursing right out of high school. She spoke a little about the history of the da – Vinci Robotics, how she had to be specially trained, and the advantages of using this tool to perform surgeries.

She said that training for the robotics machine is a team approach. It is very important to make the robotics procedures successful and safe for their patients and in order for this to happen everyone needs to be on the same page and know the workings of how this tool operates. It is ironic, but fascinating in a way, that we were at the SEE Museum earlier and heard about their next door neighbor, FIRST which inspires young people in science and technology through robotics and now we are listening to Celeste talk about this very sophisticated robotics machine that helps the medical profession do surgery.

Some advantages for using the robotics machine are small incisions, less surgery time, physician is better able to see, there is less blood loss, and less time spent in the hospital. The Robotics has 3D visibility versus the laparoscopy which has a 2D TV screen. There are three pieces to the Robotics machine; Surgeon console (surgeon sits and controls movement of surgical instruments), vision cart (camera and light source), and the surgical cart which actually attaches to the patient. The Intuitive Surgical Company invented the Robotic, and it cost about 1.3 million dollars. It has hand controls and also foot pedals that are used to merge two camera eyes.

Brian Tew, MA – Chief Information Officer gave the next presentation. He spoke about his role in the hospital and what he looks for when hiring people. He has about 70 people that work under him anywhere from medical equipment, to telecommunications, to switchboard, to information systems, to programmers, and to various support systems.
He started out in education by teaching computer classes (Visual
Basic), and worked as a healthcare technical writer, trainer, and webmaster. He has a graduate degree in information systems. He says that his job is not about the technology because it is a tool. It is more about the working relations with people he encounters. He has three basic rules when he is hiring entry level newbies:
1. You have to be nice.
2. You have to be willing to learn.
3. You have to be willing to work.
He basically looks for doers and people who have some experience.
He says that social skills are also important in the IT industry. You have to be able to communicate. He says that his coaching and teaching experiences help manage expectations with people. He doesn’t micromanage, but he does hold people accountable, monitors their progress, and asks questions. He said, “I don’t ask them what I’m not willing to do.”
Mr. Tew also said that when you are managing change, you have to have a lot of information and clearly define goals. People need to buy into it. If they don’t buy into it, you need to ask if the organization is headed in the right directions. Before any money is allocated, you need to ask if it is operationally feasible and are people going to use this tool?

Currently, CMC has a big project undertaking where physicians log on a computer to do everything electronically. He also talked about communication going from hospital to hospital. This is something that they hope to happen someday.
He also said that all the hospital’s technological systems have to work nice together. From the admitting, the lab, the pharmacy, the radiology, the inpatient, to the outpatient, the operating room, the anesthesiologist, materials, to the long term care system, to the physicians---all this information travels on a highway and that’s networking. System integration is taking all this information and getting them to work together. One can see that he is a very busy man!!

Our next speaker was Kevin King who is a Registered Nuclear Medicine Technologist and Administrative Director of Diagnostic Imaging. He said that to get into imagining most start out at the Tech school for x-ray and then proceed onto other schools for ultra-sound and MRI. He went on for more training after college in nuclear medicine and then moved into a leadership/management role. He says that he tries to create an environment in which people want to work. For people who want to work clinically, it is a great job. He talked about how the hospital has tuition reimbursement for people who want to migrate from the clinical part to the management area. Some people are very highly motivated.

An image taker’s job is to take care of the patient, produce the best image, and have appropriate indication of the study. They are part of the team that is the total service package.

He talked about PACS which stands for Picture Archives Communication Systems as opposed to film. It is a computer system that someone has to manage. He said that when buying equipment, he shops around for the best price.

In the end though, society ends up paying for healthcare costs.

Our next speaker was Peggy Lambert RN, MS, MBA, CCRN. She is the Nursing Director of the Intensive Care Unit and Cardiac Unit at CMC. She spoke to us about what it means to be a nurse. She has spent twenty-nine years in critical care and has two units to manage – Intensive Care and Cardiac. She has one hundred full time employees and manages about one hundred thirty people who are full time or part time. Her role is to oversee the two units. Patients are the core. Then there are the nurses who provide for the patients. After, comes the clinical managers who help with the day to day problem solving and around all of this is Peggy. She says that you have to be a human resource expert and you have to do the clinical stuff too. Everyone brings something of value to the table. Hospitals biggest employees are nurses and nurses make up a big part of the healthcare system.

She said that nursing and teaching have a lot in common. Both professions are invested in people’s lives. She listed qualities found in nursing that can be applied to teaching: caregivers, scientists, detectives, risk managers, human rights activists, inventors, advocates, business professionals, diagnosticians, and safety experts. She also believes in the power of prayer.

Peggy motivates people to stay engaged in the profession. Nursing is a challenging, intellectually stimulating career. It is very rewarding, trusted by consumers, and incredibly flexible in terms of what you can be. She is very passionate about what she does and has many good memories of the positive interactions she has experienced along the way.

After Peggy’s session, we were taken on a tour of CMC by Mr. Gary Archambault who is the Audio Visual Coordinator and CMC Associate. We started in the radiology section, went to the intensive care and cardiac units, onto the birthing rooms and down to the sleep disorder unit. At times, we were in the older building as well as the newer building. Mr. Archambault did say that CMC works with people…we go out to the people. We want people to know what we offer here. They should because CMC is a great hospital!

I will end my notes with a quote. On one of the walls of CMC this anonymous quote was posted:

“To the world you may be only one person, but to a person, you may be the world.”

Respectfully submitted by
Cindy Najem

LT I Central NH 2008-2009
Science/Astronomy and Space Exploration Day
Christa McAuliffe Planetarium
Concord, NH
February 9, 2009

Our fifth session for LTI for Central New Hampshire was on February 9, 2009. It was held at the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium soon to be called the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center. David McDonald, the Director of Education at the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium was our host for the day. He told us that there would be four school groups and three home-schooled groups visiting the planetarium today. Tiffany Nardino, Education Coordinator prepared the day.

The day was very exciting for a number of reasons. We were at the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium and we were given a tour of the new McAuliffe – Shepard Discovery Center. We had the opportunity to talk to an astronaut, a system engineer, physics scientist, an archeo-astronomer scientist, and a NASA education specialist. We found ourselves in our own little orbits as we learned from discussions on how gravity affects the human body, to how a technology company integrates and manages all their engineering departments, to how a scientist measures magnetic structures of gamma ray bursts, to learning about the electromagnetic spectrum, and to realize that some of the products that we use in our everyday lives originally came from NASA technologies.

The day gave us ammunition to say that all the money that we spend for space projects/programs is certainly worth it. Mr. McDonald said that an entire year of the NASA space budget is equivalent to about two days to the war in Iraq. We all need to know about space. More detail notes follow, but Christa McAuliffe sums up this summary best.

...space is for everybody. It's not just for a few people in science or math, or for a select group of astronauts. That's our new frontier out there, and it's everybody's business to know about space. - Christa McAuliffe, December 6, 1985

Detailed notes for Science/Astronomy and Space Exploration Day

Our first session was a phone conversion with Astronaut Dr. Jay Buckey who was a payload specialist for Space Shuttle Columbia’s Neurolab Mission. Payload specialists are people who are outside of NASA and are specially trained to go up in flight. He trained for almost two years and because the 1990s was the decade of the brain, his mission dealt with investigating the brain and the nervous system and seeing how it adapted in space. Currently he works at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

Mr. McDonald was showing a short video on the space mission to give us a better understanding of what was done on the trip while we conversed with Dr. Jay Buckey. He did experiments to help understand balance – the spinning chair. This chair would not be a fun ride for those of us who are not of the whirling and twirling kind. He says that the more one does it, your brain tries to adapt to its new environment. He says that there are cells in the brain that tells us where we are going. Looking at how the brain encodes a place was part of the Neurolab on the Columbia. He also mentioned Escher’s Staircase.

Another big part of the lab dealt with gravity. He talked about the animals that were used to conduct the experiments. He said that the rats that were raised in space then brought to earth had a hard time when turned over. That part of the memory in the brain may be linked to migration.

He also talked about the oyster toad fish and how their ears are similar to ours. The crickets have gravity senses and the gravity sensors were the same, but they found that the space crickets were a little further in their nervous senses.

There were also sleep studies done. Electrodes were strapped on his head. He talked about how the brain controls the 24-hour clock and how hard it is to fall asleep when you are weightless. A good night’s sleep in space would be about six hours.

He said that he would definitely go up in space again if given the chance. It is only 170 miles up. The whole launch took 8 ½ minutes. The landing took ninety minutes.

Our next session was Home Room to Space Age Technology: Making Connections with Science in Industry. Burt Keirstead, the Director of Commercial Aircraft Protection with BAE Systems located in Nashua, NH, started his discussion off by thanking us for being teachers. He said that engineering is a great field, too. He said that his job at BAE Systems has quick reaction contracts – they have to do with crisis in the world and service to the nation.

BAE Systems is a leading aerospace and defense company. Their platforms are Air, Sea, and Land, C41SR, and Support Solutions. Their commercial areas consist of hybrid drive for buses and digital controls for engines on planes. In Nashua they make an electronic jamming system for the most modern fighter aircraft carriers. The systems help to protect helicopter pilots in Iran.

Their emphasis is on innovations in technology. Their responsibility as a tech company is how to apply technology to transform things. They started looking at video games to see how a pilot looks at the cockpit.

He talked about the title of System Engineer. He said that the title was born with NASA. When NASA had to figure out how to put a man on the moon, someone needed to look at how all the systems integrate together; the mechanical, electrical, and thermal attributes. The space age said that we need to think about how we think about a system. It is not just a broad set of requirements, but a life cycle of their own requirements. Those requirements are translated into a design. When the systems are integrated, it needs to be maintained, it needs to keep going, it needs to be reliable, and it needs a plan on how will it be disposed of. A Systems Engineer has to understand many systems. He said that they are the grueling technical light of the program.

At BAE they have Subject Matter Experts (SME). They need reliability, people who are good with statistics, Physics Optics, Aeronautics, and Materials Experts. He talked about the Electro-Magnetic Spectrum where we sense, process, and respond to wave lengths. The shorter wave lengths are at one end of the spectrum as the longer ones are at the other end.
Gamma Ray, X-Ray, Ultrasound, Infrared, Microwave, and Radio Wave is the spectrum.

He also talked about the JETEYE Project which is a device on a commercial flight to detect missiles. It is only on two planes right now. It has a sensing device where a processor determines whether or not the object coming at it, is a missile. The responding laser is a box itself on the plane and will fire if it needs, too.

The teachers present were interested in having him or other presenters from his company come and talk to students during career days that were coming up. He graciously provided some contact information.

Jeanne Gerulskis, Executive Director of the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium, gave us a tour of the new McAuliffe – Shepard Discovery Center. She spoke about their exhibit ideas that would help them to connect the Discovery Center to the public. March 6 and 7 will be their grand opening for the first phase. It is free to the public on the 6th and 7th.

The Discovery Center looks like it will provide many exciting, interactive experiences for those who visit. There is a replica of the rocket that Alan Shepard went up on. They have an orientation room where groups will be able to gather when they first arrive and at different points during their visit. The exhibits themselves will have a multi-sensory approach where there will be many interactive stations for people of all ages to explore and discover.

HB Stubbs Company is designing the exhibits. Some of the exciting exhibits include an Expedition to Mars and a Christa McAuliffe Space Shuttle exhibit. They also want to include Aviation Exhibits and have a “ground” school where the public can learn about flying by using airplane simulators. The Center is going to be established in three phases. Another phase is going to include the progression of the different space programs; Mercury capsule, Apollo capsule, Space Shuttle. A later phase is going to include the Challenger Classroom where students apply for jobs on space missions and are required to do in class work to prepare for the mission. They bring what they have learned from the classroom to the Challenger Classroom where it all culminates at the Discovery Center.

They also hope to include Earth and Planetary Sciences and have information about weather satellites. They want to make the real world connection by having students have the opportunity to speak with people who have amazing jobs in regards to Earth and Planetary Sciences. It truly will be out of this world!!!

After the tour, we heard Dr. Mark McConnell an Associate Professor of Physics at UNH discuss his project, POETry in Motion: The Birth of a New Satellite.

He talked about the process that was involved in producing a satellite and the people who are needed to get a satellite into orbit. He said that you need scientists; they drive the program and have the experience. You also need system engineers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, aerospace engineers, project managers, and project programmers.

He says that there are ways to get your mission into space. The Hubble Space Telescope Observatory operates in the visible part of the spectrum. The UNH CGRO operates in the Gamma Ray Spectrum. (Compton- Gamma Ray Observatory) These two missions are the exception. He said that NASA Explorers’ Program is for scientists to propose smaller size missions. There is a medium class explore mission and a small class explore mission which are launched from the belly of a DC10. He said that only two proposals are accepted each year from the many that they get.

Dr. McConnell said that in the proposal, he had to demonstrate the importance of science and reliable technology (he had to convince NASA that this project will work in space). He also had to demonstrate that science can be achieved within the constraints of the mission which includes the cost and power and last but not least, that his team could achieve the goals that are outlined in the proposal.

He talked about the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and how nuclear weapons produce gamma rays. An array of satellites was sent into space and as a result they found something very interesting. There were large bursts of gamma rays from space. They didn’t know exactly where they were coming from. The CGRO was to study gamma ray bursts in space. The difficulties being that gamma rays don’t penetrate the atmosphere, their imaging is difficult, there images are fuzzy, and they are randomly placed anywhere in the sky. In 1997 they were able to identify with x-ray instruments and optical telescopes that gamma ray bursts are close to 13 billion light years away. They are the most energetic events in the universe.

He explained exactly what they were. There are two kinds. A supernova of a massive star called a hyper nova. Its theory is that its collapse is powered by gravity which creates a very intense blast. The other theory is that there are two neutron stars in orbit and as they lose energy, they spiral into each other. He said that it would not be a good day for earth, if a gamma ray burst was pointed at us. YIKES!

The mission was to design a study of gamma ray bursts; their polarization and their magnetic structure. The measurement instrument would be flown on a high altitude balloon (which is the next best thing to flying in space) where the radiation response could be recorded.

The proposal got good reviews from NASA and it was very close to being one of the final six. UNH is doing funding to put together a larger balloon platform. They want to demonstrate that they can do science on a balloon. The next Explorer proposal opportunity will be in 2010. Their proposal is called POlarimeters for Energetic Transients –POET Team. He told us about a song and lyric web site for space study. There is even one for gamma rays called High Energy Grove and if you go to
www.astrocapell.com you can hear it as well as find other space songs.

Our next speaker was R.P. Hale an Archeo-Astronomer who gave us an introduction to Spectroscopy by discussing the history and performing experiments with different chemicals to do flame tests to show the colors of light and spectra. It was fascinating!

He first gave us a little background knowledge on the spectrum. He wanted to show us that we knew more about this than we thought. I have never heard of electromagnetic spectrum until today, but when he started to make real world connections, there was an ah-uh moment. He said that cactus seeds need gamma radiation to germinate, one can boil water in a microwave, and sunlight is ultra-violet radiation. Hertz radio waves can be refracted, reflected, and refocused. He said that migrating birds need infra-red to migrate. He said that there are certain temperatures in different parts of the spectrum. He said that light beyond the red – was infra-red and if something is beyond the red then something needs to be beyond the violet; ultra violet.

He said that the spectrum of science is all natural elements over lapping one another. He showed us how to use chemicals to produce colors and what colors we were suppose to see when looking at the flame through the spectroscope.

He concluded by showing us the Pinwheel Galaxy which is 45 million light years away. Amazing that we can collect light that has traveled that distance!

We then had a lunch break and after lunch we had time to visit the “Celestial Treasures” Science Store at the Planetarium.

Our next stop was a planetarium show titled “Dawn of the Space Age” which helped us to see the historical space connection. It was about the “race to space” between the United States and Russia. Sometimes you actually felt like you were on the rocket that was blasting into space!

Our last speaker was Mal Cameron a NASA Education Specialist who showed us the real world connections to space exploration. I think we all learned about something that we use in our everyday lives, that originated because of NASA. He gave us a nifty handout on NASA Spinoffs that included Velcro, diapers, and GPS systems to name a few. The spinoffs go back to Apollo’s contributions, to the space shuttle’s, to the international space station’s spinoffs. Our quality of life has certainly improved with all the technologies from NASA and our quest to explore space further will certainly bring new technologies into our lives as well.

Two articles were shared. One was Whiteboards Engage Autistic Students. It discussed how Smart Boards are really good for students who have verbal issues.
The other article was Report Urges Changes in Teaching Math. It discussed math teaching methods; for example; the teacher based or student-centered instruction.

A quote with a vision...
Now is the time...for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on Earth. - John F. Kennedy

Respectfully submitted by
Cindy Najem

English Communication Day
NH Humanities Council and NHPR
Concord, NH
March 10, 2009

Our sixth session for LT1 for Central New Hampshire was on March 10, 2009. It was hosted by NH Humanities Council and NHPR.

Elizabeth opened up our session by explaining to us how jammed packed our day would be and it would be best if we shared some of our many articles this morning. After twenty minutes of sharing and discussing a few articles, we then were introduced to Deborah Watrous who is the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Humanities Council. She spoke to us about this private, non-profit gem to the public. It is an avenue for humanities to be delivered to the public as it provides over 1,000 free public programs, reaches 18,000 people live, face to face, and then another 100,000 people through public TV. She said that humanities are the things that make us human. They are habits of mind that involve critical thinking. There are 4 areas that the NH Humanities Council devotes a lot of time to; civic reflection, community grants, literacy, and K-12 education.

The day’s topic centered on communication. The NH Humanities Council loves to connect people to new programs, ideas, and other people. Communicating with others can involve conversations, body language, or just being silent. It can involve sharing ideas, listening to ideas, brainstorming ideas together, or reflecting on ideas. We can communicate by giving speeches or by doing actions. We can communicate with others in many ways or just with ourselves, as we reflect on issues of importance. We can communicate our feelings, our interests, our values, and our beliefs. We can communicate globally through radio, web pages, cell phones, television and other kinds of media. When we communicate, we make connections. Certainly this day was one of conversations, connections, and communications. Every speaker talked about making connections and communicating with others in some way.
“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”
Anthony Robbins (American advisor to leaders)
More detail notes about today’s session follow below:

The Humanities Council helps with communicating about social issues. The first area is civic reflection. They have a two year project on religion and politics. This is an attempt to get people talking off of their usual sound bites. They want to rediscover democracy in community conversations on topical social issues such as religion and diplomacy, gay marriage, war, and contemporary muslin life in America, to name a few.

Another program that comes under civic reflection is called Civic Reflection Literature and Medicine. This program helps build teamwork/bonds and is a discussion for healthcare practitioners. It explores the full meaning of practicing medicine.

The Humanities began in 1974 with federal money earmarked for community needs. They do grant proposals mostly for community groups and another way is through “Humanities to Go!” This is a wonderful guide that is published every two years. It takes the best grant projects and combines them into a handy catalogue. Every project in the catalogue must be made available to the public free of charge. There are over 200 programs that are available. Schools can use them but they need to remember that they are opened to the public. Most of the programs that are in there are not designed for children below high school age. There is an application fee of $35.00 and the scholar fees are paid through the Humanities Council.

There is also a Competitive Grant Program. They award mini-grants on a monthly basis of $2,500.00 or less. They also award major-grants on a quarterly basis over $2,500.00. They work with grant writers. They do a lot of work with Literacy; a program mainly for adults or the ESOL population. The NH Reading is another book base program where libraries and scholars do book groups. They have an Education Program called Courage to Teach. It renews and refreshes the passion to teach. The goal is to influence positively the climate itself. Teachers use literature from Courage to Teach in their classrooms. She ended by saying that through grant making, professional development can be funded for teachers. They like to work with teachers in humanities in class enrichment components for students. You would need to apply 10 weeks in advance. For example; if you had 3 speakers at a total cost of $7,500.00, you would have to match $75.00 because time and space is figured into the cost and since the applicant wants the speakers, it is assumed that they will be providing the space as well. For more information, look at the New Hampshire Humanities Council 2008 Annual Report or visit their website at www.nhhc.org.

Our next speaker was Terry Farish, Connections Coordinator, for the NH Humanities Council. Connections help to support literacy of adult immigrants and this helps to bring skills into homes so children can have a home library. She talked about the immigrant population and what happens when they arrive in the United States. She talked about their belief that their children will have a better life here even though it means that they are dislocated, have a loss of status, have difficulty communicating, and will miss their loved ones. The refugees have fewer choices, the immigrants have choices. The issues of legal verses illegal or discrimination can be minor compared to the issue of learning English.

Connections are creating lifelong readers by connecting reading to life. Many students come with 3 or 4 languages, but they don’t speak English. One of the factors that researchers have found to be successful is that if the mother is educated, children will be read to and English vocabulary will be developed. In this program, they try to use books that the immigrants /refugees can connect with, read, and love. Participants discuss how the story affected them. It helps them to compare their culture and to practice their English. The pictures help them to respond as well. It is hoped that books can be a bridge to understanding immigration as well as a key to building family literacy. Connections are available to many organizations that promote literacy: libraries, conversation groups, tutorial programs for adults, prison programs, etc.

After a quick break, Jean Haley and Anne Riley, took us through “a taste” of an interactive workshop called Courage to Teach. It was about two hours long and it was to provide us a sense of what a Courage to Teach retreat series might be like, and how it raises leadership for those who work hard everyday and get burnt out. These two ladies were very relaxing to listen to. We positioned our chairs into a circle. They put everyone at ease and because what was said in the circle had to stay in the circle, not too much was jotted down in the way of notes. I will say though, it was nice to connect with others in our LT1 class on a more personal note. There was also a reflection time for us.

After lunch and a reflection and discussion of the morning presentations, our next speaker was Becky Kates, Special Projects Director for NHPR (New Hampshire Public Radio). She displayed lots of energy as she told us about herself and gave us a tour of NHPR. She said that she does what no one else wants to do, but she really loves where she works and the people whom she works with. She said that the radio is unique enough, but pliable enough to get a good program going. It is a sounding board across the state.

There are a number of programs on NHPR. One is Giving Matters and it is a little segment once a week that NHPR promotes. It is an amazing organization to partner with. 20,000 meals were donated through this segment. Another one that they are piloting is the Town Meeting Map. It is very informative and it tracks the town meetings that are participating, throughout the state. John Greenberg is in charge of Town Meeting Map and he would like students to post things about their towns. He says that the Town Meeting Map also provides connections among towns with warrant articles. Other projects are Alternative Energy, The Economy and the Effects of the Stimulus Package, and Socrates Exchange. The later project is still in progress but it will be dealing with philosophical clubs in schools. Questions such as; what is good art? Can war ever be just? will be discussed. They would love to do more with schools. Another program is called Word of Mouth. Virginia Prescott hosts this program. They will broadcast about anything that is new news.

As she gave a tour of the new modernized facility, she told us that the new expansion was first planned in 2001. They moved into the new place in 2008 and the whole facility is very inspirational. It has a beautiful TV reception area, huge board room, and an event room that


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