Westlake's young astronauts

NASA astronaut Stephanie Wilson helps LBMS seventh-graders Stephanie Randar and Lauren Paulson work on a balloon propulsion project during Young Astronaut Day. Photo courtesy NASA Glenn Research Center

Students from Westlake High School and Lee Burneson Middle School science classes spent the day recently as scientists and astronauts during NASA’s 22nd Annual Young Astronaut Day at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

Westlake’s 25 students from WHS Honors physical science classes and LBMS general science classes were among the more than 350 students from 27 Northeast Ohio schools who worked in teams on STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) activities demonstrating their logic and problem-solving skills through hands-on projects. Activities included Commander Missions of Rocket Balloon Propulsion, Laser Communications, Rover Entry Aero Drag and Rover Traction Robots.

The program opened with a keynote address by Stephanie D. Wilson, a Harvard University graduate, engineer and astronaut, who shared her story.

“The students and adults were inspired as Wilson explained her fascinating journey from childhood dreams and aspirations to three International Space State shuttles and numerous accomplishments with her fellow crew members,” said WHS gifted specialist Anne Dill.

Students also participated in NASA’s community service project by donating canned goods to be used for the NASA “Canstruction” team building project. Students worked together to build a pixel wall depicting the famous Buzz Aldrin photo of the lunar lander in his visor. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Thousands of cans were then donated to the Cleveland Food Bank for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Westlake student participants were: Mitchell Cusick, Jacob Eddy, Akshya Dhinakaran, Evan Gallagher, Richard Garber, Ella Gray, Nate Gray, Christopher Haddad, Rebekah Hardy, Connor Harte, Amy Hizian, Talya Jeter, Alec Kaiser, Rafi Melikian, Esther Park, Lauren Paulson, Connor Reis, Chad Sargent, Marty Schaefer, Adam Schordock, Meghana Tandon, Stephanie Randar, Talia Zheng, Terry Zheng and Angela Zhu.

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Volume 6, Issue 25, Posted 9:39 AM, 12.09.2014