Lesbian filmmakers Renee Sotile and Mary Jo Godges, the West Hollywood directors behind the documentary “Christa McAuliffe: Reach for the Stars,” are currently raising money in order to donate 5,100 DVDs of their educational documentary to the California Science Center.
CSC will then donate the DVDs to schools preparing to visit the Space Shuttle Endeavour, housed at the center.
McAuliffe, a social studies teacher in New Hampshire, was NASA’s first “teacher in space” and died aboard the space shuttle Challenger. The Teacher in Space Project was a NASA program announced by Ronald Reagan in 1984.
McAuliffe was also noted for being a firm believer in equal rights. The filmmakers interviewed one of her gay students who spoke about McAuliffe’s intolerance for bullies.
“It just felt like she could accept who I really am. At least one person in the world would accept me. You know, it would be Mrs. McAuliffe,” said the student, Tony Potter.
Twenty-one years after McAuliffe’s death, her backup “Teacher in Space,” Barbara Morgan, completed McAuliffe’s mission on Endeavour.
CSC is using the movie to make the historical connection between the shuttles Challenger and Endeavour.
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