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Aerospace Experts Welcome Nesbitt Seniors
Aerospace Experts Welcome Nesbitt Seniors
Posted on 04/02/2018
The Los Angeles, California SkylineBy: Benjamin Rickert, Communications Department

Four seniors from the Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Discovery Academy served as panelists at a Los Angeles-based discussion of space-related ground systems involving some of the world’s foremost aerospace experts. For those of us who don’t regularly attend rocket scientist meet-ups, here’s a more down-to-Earth take-away: Our students are high-flying and graduate ready for tomorrow!

"We are so honored to be the first high schoolers to have attended and presented at this prestigious workshop," said student Jordan Miller, who travelled with Nesbitt teacher Ms. Emily Fox, and three of her classmates, including Lauren Ballard, Emily Brison, and her twin sister, Moriah Miller.

"At the conference we met spokesmen from global corporations who inspired us to further our interests in astronautical engineering," she said. 

Nesbitt Seniors pose with Dr. L. DeWayne Cecil at the Ground Systems Architecture Workshop in Los Angeles, California.On February 27, the Ground Systems Architectures Workshop (GSAW) brought aerospace experts together from around the globe, including representatives from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), European Space Agency (ESA), Northrop Grumman Corporation, and the Aerospace Corporation.

Alongside numerous technical topics on the agenda, one discussion centered on industry resiliency, including recruiting and preparing the next generation of experts in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The four Nesbitt seniors were well positioned to discuss their experiences in Western North Carolina’s premiere STEM high school, and their participation in the local Destination SPACE (Satellite Program for Aerospace-Centered Education) project, which involved collecting climactic data through small satellites. At the conference, they presented with mentor Dr. L. DeWayne Cecil, founder and chief scientist of Destination SPACE.

Discovery Academy Career Development Coordinator Mr. Will Thrasher was proud to see his students presenting their work at a national level, and explained that the school’s Work-Based Learning approach naturally connects classrooms with industries. Locally, Nesbitt students regularly collaborate with professionals at the NOAA Climate and Weather Center, Collider-Climate Solution, and the Asheville Museum of Science.

“Our students have started to build their own professional networks through this process that will aid them in their future, as they move to the next level in their educational careers,” Thrasher said.

This spring, the four seniors will stand among the Nesbitt Discovery Academy’s first graduating class since the school opened on August 20, 2014.

Learn more about the local Destination SPACE program.
Learn more about the Ground Systems Architectures Workshop.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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