LEWISTON – Eighth-grader Madison Morgan wants to be an astronautical engineer, and she wants to go to space one day.
Winning a recent coding competition – and meeting NASA experts – only reinforced her dream.
NASA and Tynker, a coding platform that aims to help students across the world develop programming skills, asked students to code their own patch designs for NASA’s upcoming mission to the Moon and Mars.
Madison’s design was one of five that NASA experts selected from over 10,000 submissions. “It is surreal that my project was chosen from so many from all over the world,” Morgan said of her success.
As the creator of a winning design, Madison and her classmates were able to video chat with NASA experts and ask them questions about their work.
“Talking to the NASA experts was incredible! I enjoyed their advice and learned a lot about the Space Station and the new missions. I was frozen in place the whole conference because I still could not believe it was NASA,” said Morgan.
Morgan has always been interested in science. “I enjoy making things work and seeing the results.” she said of her interest in coding. “I first became interested in coding in sixth grade. My teacher, Mr. Allen Hancock, was enthusiastic about science and technology in the classroom.”
Morgan’s interests in science are also shared by her family. Her dad, a fifth-grade teacher, was the one who first shared the opportunity with her, and her younger brother taught her how to use Tynker’s programming platform.
Madison’s winning design for the mission patch can be viewed here.