Local School Wins Student Astronaut Challenge

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Press Release: Florida Department of Education

Tallahassee, Fla., March 11, 2013 – The Chiles High School team from Tallahassee is the winner of the 2013 Florida Student Astronaut Challenge. The Florida Department of Education, in partnership with Florida State University Schools, NASA, Flightline Group, Inc., Florida Engineering Foundation, Inc., Coaxis International, and the Tallahassee Automobile Museum, hosted the second annual Florida Student Astronaut Challenge Friday, March 8-10, 2013, in Tallahassee.

High school students from across the state participated in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM-focused competition designed to test their knowledge of space-shuttle operations, engineering, launch, orbit, and landing of the Space Shuttle “Enterprise” flight simulator.

"This program provides an excellent opportunity to recognize the talents of STEM students across the state," said Public Schools Chancellor Pam Stewart. "As a former high school principal, I know how students and their teachers welcome challenges that call for extraordinary creativity, effort, and team work. Setting the bar high for our students in STEM programs will help Florida's students compete for jobs in the 21st century."

This year the Florida Student Astronaut Challenge received 350-percent more team applications, with nearly 200 students from 30 schools in southern, central, and northern Florida competing at the regional qualifier. Regional qualifier events consisted of a written examination based on reference material supplied by the competition and supervised and administered by the Florida Department of Education. A panel of experts in the field of science and science education evaluated the proposals and selected the top teams, and last year’s challenge winner – Pompano Beach High School – to travel to Tallahassee to compete in the 2013 finals. Six teams competed for this year’s top spot.

Each of the six teams received tickets to Universal Studios-Orlando and an invitation to tour the Kennedy Space Center and meet an astronaut. In addition, Chiles High School received special recognition and medals at Sunday’s awards ceremony and an automatic entry into next year’s competition.

For more information about the competition, visit Student Astronaut Challenge.

(Link below)

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