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Bonnie Dunbar: From Farm Girl to Astronaut



Bonnie Dunbar: From Farm Girl to Astronaut
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.18

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    re-entry, aviation, presented, coating, earning, logged, doctorate, aerospace, launched, fiction, flights, shuttle, failure, inspiration, encyclopedias, imagine
     content words:    Bonnie Dunbar, Soviet Union, James Mueller, Boeing Computer Services, Rockwell International Space Division, Year Award, Seattle Museum


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Bonnie Dunbar: From Farm Girl to Astronaut
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     Imagine staring at the earth from hundreds of miles above its surface in outer space. Do you think you have "the right stuff" to become an astronaut? Bonnie Dunbar is an ordinary person that ended up doing an extraordinary job.
 
2     Bonnie Dunbar was born on March 3, 1949. She grew up on a farm in Sunnyside, Washington. She and her two brothers and a sister helped out with all kinds of chores on the farm. The chores included raising cows, branding cattle, and driving a tractor. There was no television on the farm so reading was the children's main form of entertainment.
 
3     "The first set of books I can remember them buying was a set of encyclopedias," related Ms. Dunbar. Her parents encouraged all of their children to learn and be independent.
 
4     The year that Bonnie entered third grade, the Soviet Union launched their first space satellite. Bonnie remembered searching for Sputnik I in the starry evening skies. It was also about the time she decided she wanted to be an astronaut. She became fascinated with space. She read everything she could get her hands on about space and science fiction.
 
5     Bonnie spent her high school years doing the typical things young people do. She was a cheerleader and was also involved in after school sports. She graduated in the top ten percent of her class.

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