PJH students visit with NASA engineers

An engineer from NASA’s Goddard Space Center answers questions posed by students at Preston Junior High.

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Participants of the Afterschool Club held at Preston Junior High School visited with an engineer from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center last Wednesday afternoon.

The visit was part of a grant received by the state of Idaho to allow 10 schools to participate in an NASA project, said Kristin Skinner, director of the program. The program allows for the youth to work on a project, as well. They determine how to get fuel from the moon to Mars or come up with a new design for an astronaut’s suit.

Then, in February, the youth will travel to Boise to participate in an engineering day.

On Wednesday, participating youth asked the engineer a variety of questions, such as how much fuel it took to take a ship into space, and what kind of fuel is used to do so.

They were invited to participate in a contest to name the next Mars rover.

At present, the engineer is working on a mission to an asteroid that will bring samples back to earth, as well as a mission to determine how daily human activities affect algae in the ocean.

If there was one thing the engineer could do differently than this dream job of hers allows, she said, it would be to actually put the pieces of her designs together.

“I like to do hands-on,” she told them.

The children were able to learn about the different job opportunities at NASA.

They will be able to visit with NASA one more time, said Skinner. While working on their project, the youth will use the scientific method, make a video of what they learned and the process used, and uploaded that to NASA’s website.

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