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O'Connell students look beyond the clouds

First slide

You might say that engineering students from Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington have their sights set on space. A group of students have formed the Engineering Club and have been working with their teacher, Melissa Pore, to learn more about data transmission in space.


Earlier in the year, they built small components that can travel through space to relay environmental data back to their computers. They took these components to Haymarket last month to test their systems using a drone to reach higher altitude. The club is working toward eventually seeing their experiment as a part of an educational component of a NASA launch into space.


At the same time, six of the club’s mission managers took a field trip to the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) international meeting in College Park, Md., last month, where they were asked to provide student perspectives on this program through a panel discussion.


Later in the week, they were honored to be included in a live video-conferencing question and answer session with John Guidi, deputy director of the Advanced Exploration Systems Division with NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.


"I plan on majoring in computer science and getting a job as a programmer one day," said sophomore Will Rimicci. "I've really enjoyed being able to interact with people who do this kind of thing every day."


O’Connell is scheduled to host a live amateur radio conversation Nov. 8 with an astronaut on the International Space Station. Students will have the opportunity to ask the astronaut questions about everything from training to everyday life on the ISS.


"Making this connection live is very exciting for all of us," said Pore. "We made a call out to all our O'Connell students to see who was interested in posing questions to the astronauts. I am thrilled to see the broad cross section of students from the school, not just our engineering students, who have asked to participate. This will truly be a school-wide event."


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018