Astronaut speaks to local students

McClain spoke to students on Friday about the math and science used in the space program and how to achieve their dreams.

COLUMBUS, Ga. – A NASA astronaut spoke to local fifth and sixth graders at Columbus State University’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center.  Astronaut Anne McClain and Congressman Sanford Bishop both emphasized the importance of inspiring young students about their futures.

McClain wanted to be an astronaut ever since she was three.  With NASA cutting back on federal funding, she said out country is depending on students now more than ever to enhance our future.

“We have more questions than we do answers so we always need people who are willing and able to contribute a new way of looking at problems.  A new way of thinking about things,” McClain said.

Congressman Bishop hopes students hearing from a real life astronaut will be encouraging.

“If they start with the dreams early and found step-by-step what it requires, i think that they will be off to a great start and we’ll be in for a great future for our country,” Bishop said.

CSU President Chris Markwood just returned from Washington D.C. where he learned of the need to create 100,000 new positions for science, math, technology, and computer science.

“I think this community is rising to that challenge.  The Greater Columbus community and I think working together with Phenix City and others around we can help reach that goal,” Markwood said.

McClain said NASA’s goals stretch way beyond our country’s borders.

“Within NASA, we’re really lucky to be able to work with people from all nationalities in all walks of life toward a common goal and we realize as in working with those other countries and other people that we are more alike than we are different,” McClain explained.

McClain and Bishop chose to tour the CCSSC because of its relationship with CSU.

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