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Young Astronauts Celebrate 19th Mission

Years of study culminate in 24 hours of teamwork

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Norwalk, CT | Added on May 09, 2014 At 03:50 PM

The astronauts have landed back in Norwalk.

"I, Harry Riling, mayor of the city of Norwalk do hereby recognize, Friday, May 9th 2014, this will be forever by the way, it will be forever logged in the city books, as Young Astronauts Day in Norwalk and in doing so congratulate all involved for the dedication for learning and a successful mission."

Fourteen fifth graders from Columbus Magnet School's Young Astronauts program completed their 19th annual 24-hour simulated mission Friday morning in front of a crowd of parents, teachers, alumni and local dignitaries. 

"I think I want to be an astronaut," said one student.  

Columbus Magnet School has offered the young astronauts program to its student for 30 years. This year's the mission “Terra Nova” was its first robotic mission. 

"Every year I look forward to this," said Young Astronauts' teacher and Commander in Chief Andrew Pearce. "It's such a sensational program. These kids learn a lot about science, technology and engineering and math, and they're just good kids and I'm just so proud of them." 

Students say they've been applying their passion for space, teamwork and science, since first grade, but it was no easy task. 

"The power went out a couple times," said one student. "We had to work together because two heads is always better the one."  

"We weren't able to talk in English over walkie talkies or Skype, so we had to use morse code and that was really challenging because people didn't space the letters out so it looked like one big blob of dots and dashes," said another student.  

"The shuttle started to flood, and we had to work together to see what materials we had in the shuttle and we had to think of other ways to solve the problem," a student said.  

For four years each young astronaut has spent every Friday after school working out, studying, and preparing for their final mission.  

"We had to train for 8 months and every single Friday we would come together and either do experiments and talk about different parts of STEM, which is science, technology, engineering and math," said another student.  

"Kids that I had seven years ago are now off to colleges all across the country," said Pearce. "I couldn't be prouder."  

To view the program's website, visit:


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