Westbury students spend the day with astronauts
Five Westbury High School Cradle of Aviation STEM Academy students recently had a unique opportunity to visit JetBlue University in Orlando, FL, and spend the day with astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Together they toured JetBlue’s training facility and conducted virtual flights in jet simulators. Afterwards, students lunched with Aldrin and discussed both the history and future of space exploration.
The Westbury High School students were selected to go on the trip based on their excellent academic record and expressed interest in pursuing a career in aviation.
JetBlue has had a long history of supporting Westbury by providing guest speakers, taking students to various events including the annual Fun ‘n Sun aviation affair in Lakeland, FL, and providing funding for students to take part in summer engineering programs at Bucknell University and NYIT. Westbury students have also been featured in JetBlue’s inflight entertainment features.
Michael Stromer, vice president of marketing at JetBlue, has kept Westbury in a special place in his heart. He frequently visits the students at the Cradle of Aviation STEM Academy and provides students with numerous opportunities to expose them to the exciting and expanding field of aviation.
Through its partnership with the Cradle of Aviation, Westbury High School students also got to hear from Apollo 16 astronaut Charles M. Duke, Jr., who, at 36, was the youngest person to walk on the moon. Duke visited with students at the Cradle of Aviation Magnet Academy, giving them the unique opportunity to connect the knowledge acquired during their STEM classes with the actual experience of a NASA astronaut who has been to the moon and back.
Duke spent just under three days on the surface on the moon and shared his passion for hard work, family, professional studies and drive as contributing factors to his success. He also shared that he even left a photograph of his family on the surface of the moon. After the small group discussion with the astronaut, students posed for photos with him in front of the lunar lander displayed at the Cradle of Aviation Museum. It was a great experience for the high school students.
—Submitted by the Westbury School District