Archived Story

HHS looks ahead

Published 11:14am Wednesday, November 28, 2012

You don’t have to dig very deep to find the treasure that makes Hartselle a good place to live. Just ask anyone who is familiar with Hartselle what makes the city special and they’ll tell you it’s the schools.

Long ago the school system’s administrators, teachers, students and parents bought in on the idea of challenging every student to do his or her best regardless of limited resources.

The results have been mind-boggling. Student achievements have far exceeded expectations and consistently rank among the top 10 or 12 school systems in the state.

The success of an expanded college prep curriculum at Hartselle High School underscores the fact that young minds can perform at a very high level when they are faced with difficulty challenges.

For example, third level pre-engineering students of Kim Pittman are competing in InSPIRESS, a space launch project co-sponsored by the University of Alabama-Huntsville and NASA.

The students are utilizing their knowledge of algebra, geometry, calculus and physics to design and build a payload for an unmanned NASA space mission to Ganymede, an ice-capped moon of Jupiter.

The payload’s mission is to create a debris field on the moon’s surface by firing explosives into its exterior and collecting samples for analysis.

The team conducted an experiment on Nov. 13 to determine the optimum shape for a portion of the payload design with gifted students from Hartselle Junior High School observing.

The team’s work will be evaluated by a team of judges at NASA headquarters in Huntsville on Dec. 10.

What a leap forward for students interested in pursing engineering careers.

Pre-engineering wasn’t offered to students four years ago.

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