High School Students Leave Their Mark on the NLSI Forum
August 1, 2011
Four students and their teacher from Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Missouri, presented their lunar research poster — “Using Boulder Diameter/Crater Diameter Ratios to Differentiate Primary from Secondary Craters on the Lunar Surface” — at the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) Forum at NASA Ames Research Center, which was held July 19–21, 2011.
The students were the winners of Year 2 of High School Lunar Research Projects, one of the E/PO efforts of the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration, an NLSI team based at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) and NASA Johnson Space Center. The program is designed to help attract and retain students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and strengthen the future workforce.
“The only reason that any of these students were not pursuing science degrees before is because they did not have the confidence in themselves to believe that they could actually achieve it,” said Richard Snyder, the Kickapoo team’s teacher. “Because of this program, they have found that confidence and are reassessing their degree options as they prepare for college.”
“The Center for Lunar Science and Exploration is excited about the impact the High School LunarResearch Projects program is having on participating students,” said Andy Shaner, an education and public outreach specialist at LPI and program lead. “The students from Kickapoo High School are a perfect example of how programs like this can attract students to STEM disciplines and help strengthen the future STEM workforce.“
In addition to presenting their research at the NLSI Forum, the students competed with other high school, undergraduate, and graduate students in the Forum's student poster competition. The Kickapoo team placed second out of 34 entries and was the only high school to place in the top 5.
The Kickapoo team included students Hannah Adams, Cody Carroll, Allyson Fess, and Richard Hearn III and teacher Richard Snyder. Dr. Georgiana Kramer of LPI was the team’s mentor. The Kickapoo team’s poster can be viewed at www.lpi.usra.edu/nlsi/education/hsResearch/presentations/posters/kickapoo.pdf.
The students also recorded a podcast for 365 Days of Astronomy. To listen to the podcast, visit 365daysofastronomy.org/2011/07/26/july-26th-high-school-teams-compete-in-lunar-research/.
For more information about the program, visit
Last updated August 1, 2011