Students Take Astronaut Challenge

Students Take Astronaut Challenge
Posted on 02/04/2019
Olympic Heights Astronaut Challenge TeamThis week, students from Olympic Heights Community High School will compete in the Student Astronaut Challenge State Competition at the Kennedy Space Center.

The Student Astronaut Challenge is an aerospace-based competition sponsored by Florida State University Schools and presented with cooperation from NASA and the Kennedy Space Center. Last year the team placed first in the Flight Simulator Challenge and Lab Challenge.

“We kind of went there to have fun,” senior Alexander Glotov said, “but we worked every day, tirelessly and the fact that we won first place was really exciting and it showed that our hard work paid off.”

Glotov has his sights set on Georgia Tech University, where he wants to study to become an aerospace engineer. He and his peers say that working for NASA has always been a dream of theirs and being able to compete, is bringing them one step closer to achieving their dreams.

“I love aerospace science and rockets and astronomy,” sophomore Katlyn Moulia said, “so when I heard Astronaut Challenge, I was inspired by it.”

The focus of the competition is the mobile Space Flight Simulator which was designed to replicate the retired NASA Space Shuttle. For the last six years, up to 200 middle and high school students have converged at the Kennedy Space Center in February to compete in the Astronaut Challenge.

Olympic Heights Astronaut Challenge Team

In order to place, each of the five students on the team took a two-hour exam on the Space Shuttle Reference Manual. The team consists of Olympians Advanced Placement (OAPA) and Engineering Academy senior Alexa Cole; Engineering senior Alexander Glotov; OAPA and Engineering senior Benjamin Kaufman; Engineering junior Olivia Santana; along with OAPA and Engineering sophomores Katlyn Moulia and Katherine Marrero.

“I am just so proud of them,” Ms. Nimmi Arunachalam, the team's coach, and Engineering Academy teacher said. “They’ve shown a lot of growth and by working together and completing these complex tasks, I know that they will accomplish anything they set their minds to.”

The School District of Palm Beach County