Students Meet NASA Engineer

Students Meet NASA Engineer photo
Students from the high school, Giblyn and New Visions met NASA mechanical engineer and Exceptional Achievement Medal awardee Kobie Boykins at the Cradle of Aviation Museum. The event was the latest precursor to the unique opportunity students in the Freeport Public School District will have later this year when they will be attempting a video and audio connection with astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

Boykins designed the solar array systems for the Mars exploration rovers Spirit and Opportunity, and designed the actuators on the Mars rover Curiosity. He is currently serving as supervisor of the mobility and remote-sensing teams for NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity program.

Boykins led the students through a variety of fun and educational activities designed to supplement their ongoing lessons about astronomy. Students engaged in martian simulation activities, including using coordinates on a giant map of Mars to maneuver a mini Mars rover as part of the museum’s Countdown to Apollo 50 celebration. They also asked Boykins questions and explored the museum.

As part of the audio and video connection that will take place, students across the district will have 10 minutes to collectively ask 10 questions of the astronauts aboard the ISS. The visit to the Cradle of Aviation helped further prepare the students for this momentous occasion in which Freeport is the only school district in the nation to have been granted this opportunity.