Welcome to Houston, Texas!

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Welcome to Houston, Texas!
Group work:

Choose one of the first two topics and work on topic three:
1.) Get some information about Houston and the famous NASA Space Centre!

Tell the rest of the course what you think is important to know!

2.) Texas is very famous for its cowboys and linedances.

Please try to animate the whole course to dance with you!

You will find a linedance in your information-map!
3.) Discuss in your group if you would work with a linedance in your

English class later.

Houston, Texas
Houston, the largest city in Texas and seat of Harris County, is located in the southeast part of the state near the Gulf of Mexico.

Some historical information:

Sam Houston was the commander-in-chief of the Texas troops who fought a successful war of rebellion against Mexico, which had been in possession of Texas. On April 21, 1836, Houston's men won a decisive victory in which the Mexican dictator, Gen. Santa Anna, was taken prisoner and forced to sign the treaty that launched the Republic of Texas. In September, a constitution was ratified, and Houston was elected president. The Texas Republic was recognized by the U.S. and by the major European powers. The present city of Houston was incorporated in 1837 and named after Sam Houston; it was the Republic's first capital.

The port of Houston ranks high among U.S. ports in foreign tonnage handled. The city is a major business, financial, science, and technology center. Houston is outstanding in oil and natural-gas production and is the energy capital of the world. It is the home of one of the largest medical facilities in the world - the Texas Medical Center - and the focus of the aerospace industry. The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center is the nation's headquarters for staffed spaceflight.

Among the city's many visitor attractions are Space Center Houston, the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, Six Flags AstroWorld, George Ranch Historical Park, the Astrodome baseball stadium, and nearby San Jacinto Battlefield.
Some statistics:

2000 census population (rank): 1,953,631 (4); % change: 19.8; Male: 975,551 (49.9%); Female: 978,080 (50.1%); White: 962,610 (49.3%); Black: 494,496 (25.3%); American Indian and Alaska Native: 8,568 (0.4%); Asian: 103,694 (5.3%); Other race: 321,603 (16.5%); Two or more races: 61,478 (3.1%); Hispanic/Latino: 730,865 (37.4%). 2000 percent population 18 and over: 72.5%; 65 and over: 8.4%; median age: 30.9.

Land area: 579 sq mi. (1,500 sq km);

Avg. daily temp.: Jan., 52.2° F; July, 83.5° F

City-owned parks: 293 (32,733 ac.)

Information About the Houston Space Centre and NASA
JSC and NASA had a tremendous story to tell. Hal Stall, director of Public Affairs at Johnson Space Centre, wanted to provide real role models for youth, showing them that working hard in math and science classes could pay off with a career as a spacecraft designer or astronaut. And he wanted to do it without using tax dollars.
So Stall gathered leaders from JSC and the community and formed Manned Space Flight Education Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization. Together, the group set out to provide a world-class facility where the public could come to touch the space program - and be touched by it.

The Foundation brought in the experts from Walt Disney Imagineering, the design and master planning arm of the Walt Disney Co. They generated the concepts that would become Space Center Houston. The Foundation sought support from corporations. Many companies backed the building of the Center by providing seed money. Finally, $68.4 million in tax-exempt bonds were sold to the public.

Modest admission fees would fund the daily operation of the Center. They would also support the Center's extensive educational program, which now provides outreach to thousands of school children and teachers.
The construction team, headed by a joint venture of CRSS Sirrine and Linbeck, began construction of the facility.  With Walt Disney lmagineering's concepts in hand, BRC Imagination Arts began production of the shows and displays. It would be a challenging task - the Center had to entertain and excite, but tell the true story of space in a realistic way.

The goal was a center that appeals on an emotional level as well as an intellectual one. A Center that reaches guests' minds through their hearts.

The hands-on activities, films, exhibits and live shows do just that.


  • The acronym "NASA" stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  • The Altus II unmanned robot plane can circle for up to 24 hours over wildfires, beaming images and data back to computers via satellite. Originally introduced as part of the Environmental Research and Sensor Technology (ERAST) Program, Altus II can map dozens of fires in a day with no risk to a pilot.

  • In 1803, a man named Luke Howard used Latin words to categorize clouds. Cirrus, which means "curl of hair," is used to describe high, wispy clouds that look like locks of hair.

  • The Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) is NASA's center for aeronautical flight research and atmospheric flight operations. DFRC is chartered to research, develop, verify, and transfer advanced aeronautics, space and related technologies. It also serves as a backup landing site for the Space Shuttle and a facility to test and validate design concepts and systems used in development and operation of the Orbiters.

  • On January 31, 1958, Explorer 1 became the first artificial satellite launched into space by the United States. Onboard was a cosmic ray detector designed to measure the radiation environment in Earth orbit.

  • The term "aeronautics" originated in France, and was derived from the Greek words for "air" and "to sail."

  • On August 25, 1932 Amelia Earhart set three records for women flyers: the first non-stop U.S. crossing, the longest distance record, and a coast-to-coast record time.

  • On October 14, 1947, in the rocket powered Bell X-1, Capt. Charles E. Yeager flew faster than sound for the first time.

  • On August 29, 1929 the Graf Zeppelin, a rigid airship (or dirigible), completed a historic flight around the world that included a nonstop leg from Friedrichshafen, Germany to Tokyo, Japan -- a distance of almost 7,000 miles. The airship was 100 feet in diameter and 110 feet high, including the gondola bumpers. During its operating life from 1928 to 1937, the Graf Zeppelin made 590 flights, covering more than a million miles. A total of 13,100 passengers were carried without a single injury.

  • A geostationary satellite travels at an altitude of approximately 36,000 kilometers (22,000 miles) above the Earth and at a speed of about 11,000 kph (7,000 mph).

  • Before NASA was formed, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was started by President Woodrow Wilson to supervise and direct the scientific study of the problems of flight. The NACA determined which problems should be experimentally worked on and discussed their solutions and their application to practical questions. The NACA also directed and conducted research and experiments in aeronautics.

  • NASA became operational on October 1, 1958 -- one year after the Soviets launched Sputnik 1, the world's first artificial satellite.

  • Snoopy, the Peanuts Comic Strip character is the astronauts' personal safety mascot.

  • Columbia was the first Space Shuttle that traveled to Earth orbit.

Help for your linedance!
What is a linedance?

All dancers stand in one or more lines with the same line of sights, like you can see it in the picture below. All dancers do the same steps, but for their own. Their is no partner needed. The linedance is danced to Country music. It became more and more popular in the last years.

What you find here is a short linedance.

Listen to the CD and do the dance.

Maybe you will find some more steps!
1-2 Touch right toe to right side, touch right toe next to left instep
3-4 Touch right heel forward, cross touch right toe over in front of left foot
5-6 Step right to right side, cross left behind right
7-8 Step right to right side, stomp left next to right

Welcome to Chicago, Illionois!
Group work:
1.) You don’t need to read all texts you have got in front of you, but find out

information about the „windy city“! Tell the rest of the course what you

found out!
2.) You have a lot of information about Al Capone, who is a well known


Try to use the map of Chicago, to follow Al Capone’s way from his

headquarter in Cicero (marked in the map) to Chicago O’Hare International

3.) Discuss in your group if this topic is interesting for kids.

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