Do You Have A Role Model?

STS-124 Mission Specialist Karen L. Nyberg. Photo Credit: NASA

What does “heroic” mean to you?  Do you think of daring acts of bravery? Strong leadership? Triumph over great odds?  Outstanding achievements in sports or entertainment?  Heroism takes many forms, including these. There are as many ways to be heroic as there are individual lives. Ordinary people in ordinary circumstances perform countless acts of courage and sacrifice in everyday life.

You probably know several people that have been heroes in your community or even in your own life. The people we hold up as heroes (both men and women) reflect our values.

In America, for example, we value individualism, ingenuity, boldness, and the ability to beat the odds; even the American Dream emphasizes rising from humble beginnings to achieve a better state in life. But our national character also has a softer side: We think being of service to others is important, too, and we tend to revere humanitarians. Many of the people we admire demonstrate several of these values.

It’s worth taking a look at our heroes and asking ourselves why we admire them, because the qualities they represent are probably at work in our own lives. Our heroes are often our role models as well.  Taken from the KRP tab "Making a Difference: a look at Heroes and Role Models."

I was thinking about Karen Nyberg being a hero and role model as I was reading about her in Friday’s Herald "UND’s Nyberg on the rocket ride" NASA astronaut and UND mechanical engineering grad has reached for the stars – and she made it. The article was written by Tu-Uyen Tran, Herald staff writer and is on page one of section B City and State.  


Photo by Eric Hylden, staff photographer

Karen Nyberg, UND alumna and NASA astronaut, spoke at UND on Thursday about growing up, going to college and what it’s like to be an astronaut.  On May 31, 2008, she became the 50th woman in space during a mission on the Discovery Space Shuttle. 

Pick up the Friday, October 2 paper to read the story or click on this link:

Here are some activities:  

1. Identify three of your personal role models. For each one, make a list of the characteristics that make you admire that person. Write a short essay comparing and contrasting the three people you’ve selected. Do they have many characteristics in common, or are they very different from one another?

2. Design your own superhero. Think about the qualities you find most admirable in your own heroes and create a comic strip character based on those qualities.

3. Watch for articles about heroes in your own community. Cut out all the ones you find and create a classroom bulletin board on “Local Heroes.”

4. Imagine that you are in charge of placing an ad for “astronauts wanted.”  What qualifications will you be looking for? Using your newspaper’s classifieds as a model, write an ad that includes all the character requirements you think are important.

Activities are also from the KRP tab "Making a Difference: a look at Heroes and Role Models."