Jonathan Hernandez, second from right.
Elizabeth, NJ – Jonathan Hernandez, a sophomore student at the Elizabeth High School, was invited to the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, after he and a team of students from across the country won the RealWorld-InWorld Design Challenge.
His team consisted of two students (including himself) from New Jersey, one from Pennsylvania, and one from North Carolina, who all participated in the NASA INSPIRE program.
The competition challenged students from grades 8-12 to solve one of two design problems in teams involving the James Webb Space Telescope and create a design on the question they chose. The team worked on a new, radical, design of the “Sun-Shield” which will protect the telescope from light. Even with their communication challenges, their hard work and dedication allowed them to place 1st in the competition.
At Goddard, Jonathan and his team were given a in-depth VIP tour of the extensive facility, giving them a perspective on our national research that very few people have been able to see. During their visits, they met Nobel Laureate John Mather and the Center Director of Goddard, Christopher Scolese. Jonathan and his team gave a presentation of their design to both Dr. Mather and the James Webb Space Telescope team and saw the James Webb Space Telescope under production.
Board President Tony Monteiro stated, “Elizabeth Public Schools is incredibly proud of the efforts of Jonathan in having been selected as part of this initiative. I would like to personally thank the efforts of all of those excellent teachers that have helped contribute to the success of Jonathan in this endeavor. This is truly what makes us the number one urban school district in New Jersey.”
For a complete name list of the student selected to participate in the NASA INSPIRES program, click here.