In early October, members of Key Peninsula Middle School’s class on astronomy and aerospace, under the tutelage of award-winning teacher Kareen Borders, learned the essentials of flight and what it takes to become a pilot and, ultimately, an astronaut, from NASA’s Col. Warren Hall.

NASA’s Col. Warren Hall during the October presentation in the school library. Photo by Hugh McMillan

Hall flew in from Ames Research Center out of Moffett Field, Calif. He was a Navy fighter pilot, NASA test pilot, and an author of 73 technical reports, earning three international awards for technical excellence. He talked with the eighth grade students about his flying career and how he came to be a test pilot.

“The aerospace students were especially privileged to work with Col. Hall, a NASA test pilot and published author,” Borders said.

Student Nikki Rossberg said about the astronomy class, “I’m here because Mrs. Borders is an awesome teacher…  I knew nothing about astronomy and space. Now I know it is great.”

Eighth-grader Drake Henderson said, “I am planning to become a scientist and this class is helping me understand science better. I’ve learned a lot about flight that I could not have learned in any other class.”

KPMS aerospace students study the history of flight, explore the mechanics of flight, investigate aerospace careers, are involved with NASA experiments, and much more. Several of the students say they hope to have a career in aerospace.

“I love this class. Learning about space and flight is fun,” said Marcus Henderson. “I want to be an aeronautical engineer and this will really help me and open a lot of doors.”

“I want to become a person who works with telescopes and looks at the universe and many other things,” Elizabeth Price said. “I want to get a good scholarship in college. That way I can get a good job.”

KPMS is the first NASA Explorer School in Washington state. Earlier this year, Borders was named the 2005 Teacher of the Year by the Air Force Association’s McChord Chapter.


The Key Peninsula Middle School had its official NASA kick-off ceremony at the end of October. For details, read the article in the December 2006 issue of the Key Peninsula News.
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