In 2016, twenty Isle of Hope Students traveled to Richmond Hill Middle School to take a regional qualifying test for NASA’s Student Astronaut Challenge. Ten students scored high enough to qualify Isle of Hope to send one team to the national competition at the Kennedy Space Center in February 2017.
Students are expected to compete in four areas, a space shuttle Atlantis launch and landing simulation, a lab presentation, an engineering challenge, and a landing challenge.
Two months ago, almost 70 students expressed interest in taking part in this year’s Isle of Hope Astronaut Club. Coaches Carolyn Rethwisch (IOH Science Teacher), Wade Smith (IOH STEAM Teacher) and Dr. Barbara Serianni (Professor in the College of Ed at Armstrong University) worked with the students to prepare for this year’s regional competition. It was held last Saturday, October 7, at Richmond Hill Middle School.
This year, Isle of Hope had two teams qualify for the National Competition. Once again, they are the only school representing Savannah Chatham Public Schools and one of three schools representing Georgia.
Over the next few months, the teams will be looking to partner with members of the community as they increase their engineering and flying skills, and work to raise almost $10,000.
Coach Carolyn Rethwisch had this to say, “For the first time, our Title 1 school, will have just as many girls competing as boys. That is HUGE for STEM education. Just seeing the enthusiasm from our kids, the willingness to practice 12-15 hours a week, and raise close to $10,000 to once again fly in the Space Shuttle Atlantis Simulator is exciting! These kids are world-changers and I couldn’t be any prouder of their accomplishments.”
Among the students participating this year is Jeaneva Moore, daughter of Tasha Moore, members of Tremont Temple Missionary Baptist Church.
Information about the Challenge can be found at studentastronautchallenge.com.