One of the terms heard most often in education is the notion of the "teachable moment." The idea, of course, is that there are some moments in life when students are so consumed by interest in a subject that they want to learn as much about it as possible.

Perhaps the most dramatic of all teachable moments occurred just over 20 years ago when the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff. At that time, millions of kids were watching this event in their classrooms because a teacher, Christa McAuliffe, was making history as the


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