May 06, 2011 Bonnie Russell Uncategorized
West Genesee Middle School seventh grade students Daniel Pesci and Kaitlin Holdrege accepted scholarships today to attend a six-day Space Academy at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The scholarships were provided by the Space & Rocket Center and Honeywell.
Camillus Town Supervisor Mary Ann Coogan read a proclamation from Onondaga County Executive Joanne Mahoney declaring May 5, 2011, “Daniel Pesci and Kaitlin Holdrege Space Academy Day.”
Space Academy is designed to support and inspire students to study science, technology, engineering and math education around the world. During the program, Pesci and Holdrege will live and work in space conditions operating the station’s life support, crew/equipment support systems and participate in classroom, laboratory and field training exercises and experiments.
In June 2010, WGMS teacher Sue Bingham attended Honeywell Educators @ Space Academy at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.
“[The academy] was a life-changing experience,” said Bingham. “The program taught me new teaching techniques and provided new experiences to share in my classroom as I try to help inspire the next generation. I am extremely excited for our students who will have the opportunity to learn at the Space & Rocket Center. Thank you Honeywell for your commitment to STEM education and to you and all of our sponsors so we can send two students on this amazing journey.”
Out of 200 teachers from 17 countries and 44 states that participated in 2010, Bingham was one of six educators selected to receive the international “Right Stuff Award” based on her leadership skills. She received her medal from former NASA Space Shuttle Commander Robert “Hoot” Gibson. As part of her award, WGMS was offered the chance to honor a student with the “Great Stuff Award,” including free tuition to attend Space Academy. Honeywell agreed to sponsor tuition costs for a second WGMS student.
To apply, students had to answer five essay questions and submit letters of recommendation from their teachers. The winners were chosen by a panel of school administrators and staff members.
The top 12 finalists were: Dylan Amodio, Christopher Brown, Hunter Buza, Brennan Costello, Sarah Devlin, Andrew Francisco, James Harter, Kaitlin Holdrege, Katherine (Katie) Lannon, Cassie Mondello, Daniel Pesci and Jacqueline Peterson.
Several local organizations made donations to fund airfare for the two students including: Cam’s Pizzeria, Camillus Elks Women’s Auxiliary, Camillus Optimists Club, Used Car King and West Genesee Middle School PTA. The staff at West Genesee Middle School also organized a “Denim Day” fundraiser.
The students are expected to attend Space Academy later this month or in June. Runner-ups received a one-year membership to the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science (MOST) that includes unlimited free visits and admission to more than 280 science centers worldwide.