HAZARD — Sixth grade students from Viper Elementary School in Perry County filled the roles of astronauts and mission control specialists at the Challenger Learning Center of Kentucky on Tuesday, as they successfully located and named a Comet during their “Rendezvous with a Comet” Simulated Space mission. Teachers Pam Brashear and Joanna Perry had prepared their students well for the many complications and uncertainties that were bound to occur during their space mission. These students successfully used the science and math they learned in their classrooms to solve problems and make decisions that ultimately led to a successful mission. After the mission was complete Colonel Terry Wilcutt, Kentucky’s only NASA Astronaut, congratulated the students on a job well done through a special link to the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
These students did not realize until after their simulated mission that they would be honored as this year’s Alice Faye Nobel Memorial Mission. Challenger Director Tom Cravens presented the Viper Students a plaque to designate their accomplishment in memory of Ms. Alice Faye Nobel who was a driving force in bringing a Challenger Center to eastern Kentucky and Hazard back in the mid 1990s. At that time, after a long career in teaching, Ms. Alice had retired to pursue her love of aviation as education specialist at the Wright Patterson Airforce Base in Dayton, Ohio. As part of her job she was introduced to a Challenger Learning Center in Indiana and, upon seeing it, she immediately went to work to bring a Center to Hazard. She convinced Mayor Bill Gorman and former HCTC President, Dr. Ed Hughes that it was a good idea and the rest is history. Alice unfortunately passed away in 2010 but we honor her memory each year with this award.
Congratulations to Viper Elementary School on their successful mission and being named as the 2016 Alice Faye Noble Memorial Mission group.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.