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Kennedy Student Names Will Be Going to the Moon

Kennedy Student Names Will Be Going to the Moon

When the next Rover launches into outer space it will include the names of hundreds of Kennedy Community School’s student names all due to science teacher Alissa Keil.

While previously working at NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), Keil had to hire interns to work on her projects.

“I hired the student Parker Francis … as an intern when he was a junior in high school,” explains Keil. “He was involved in VEX robotics … [and] came back his senior year and worked in robotics in the ERC (Electronic Radiation Characterization Project) with me.”

The pair continued to work over the years while Francis was completing his college degree. At the time, he was working on the Rover at NASA. Now, years later, he oversees the project to send the Rover to the moon.

“Fast-forward and me coming to teaching,” says Keil, “calling Parker for VEX questions, I introduced my students to Parker.”

Keil has since had Francis talk to her students in her coding classes and her VEX robotics team via Zoom over the years.

“I have him on speed-dial,” laughs Keil. “He helps us with our Star Party Nights and is available to talk [to kids and families].”

So, when Parker reached out to Keil to ask for help, she immediately agreed.

Francis’ goal is to send five million names on the Rover to the moon, so Keil went to work.

Kennedy students have been signing up to ensure their names will make it to the moon. It won’t be five million, but Kennedy will have a few hundred.

After the launch, Francis will be driving the Rover live on the moon from NASA and Keil’s students will be on Zoom watching him live as it happens.

“We’ll probably be the only class to watch him drive live on the moon,” says Keil. “We’ll be able to see the screen and the Rover move forward.”

It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for Kennedy students and they can’t wait to join the mission.