• 88°
The Madison Record

Columbia students board missions at Space Camp

Thomas Nguyen and Claudia Vargas represented Madison and Huntsville at Space Camp. They attend Columbia Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Thomas Nguyen and Claudia Vargas represented Madison and Huntsville at Space Camp. They attend Columbia Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Two Columbia Elementary School students went to the stars and back during their summer vacation.

Upcoming fourth-grader Thomas Nguyen and fifth-grader Claudia Vargas represented Madison and Huntsville at Space Camp with scholarships from the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association on Redstone Arsenal.

“We’re very proud of them,” Columbia Principal Mark McCrory said.

Scholarship applicants were required to submit a 600-word essay on a supplied topic, an outstanding academic record, interest in science and space and have a parent employed by the federal government. Columbia fourth-grade teachers Kelly Bowerman and Janet Lanier helped with mentoring and motivation.

Vargas’ essay discussed astronaut Eileen Collins: “How does it feels in space when you are floating in the air? … On Earth, we only have machines to try to make you feel like you are in space. There’s nothing like the real space out there,” she wrote.

Attending Space Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center was a dream for Vargas. A field trip to “Girls in Science Day” at the University of Alabama in Huntsville peaked her interest in space.

The camp day began at 7 a.m. Team leaders led exercises outside before breakfast. “Daily activities included missions, constellations, chemical reactions, solar system and spacecraft history. In the first mission, I was selected as mission specialist 1,” Vargas said. Counselors called ‘lights out’ at 9:30 p.m.

“I most enjoyed the rides G-Force and Space Shot,” along with shuttle missions, she said. “It was creative and fun. I (made) new friends on this incredible experience.”

Vargas recommends Space Camp for everyone. “Maybe what you learn you’ll use in future jobs, like me (as a) scientist or doctor,” she said.

“As a parent, we feel so proud of them. They worked so hard to obtain this achievement,” Claudia’s mother Noris Ramirez said. “Thanks for all the hard work the teachers and school staff make every day to get successful students and citizens.” Luis Vargas is Claudia’s father.

Thomas’ parents are Tom and Loann Nguyen.

Madison

Madison Public Library to host newcomer fair on Saturday

Madison

Trash Pandas shut down Biloxi bats in 3-1 win

Madison

Rickabaugh pedaling in Great Cycle Challenge for children’s cancer research

Harvest

Shotgun Salute to benefit Honor Veteran Legacies

Madison

Trash Pandas edged in Biloxi 6-5

Harvest

CareerNAV to inform women in tech job market

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – Aug. 10, 2022

Madison

Extension Service: How to deal with chiggers

Business

New event announced: Christmas on the River at Ditto Landing

Madison

Trash Pandas homer, hang on for 5-4 win in Biloxi

Bob Jones High School

Nominations open for Bob Jones Hall of Fame

Madison

Nichols reminds families on COVID-19 procedures

Harvest

Partnership giving away Fentanyl test strips

Madison

Sheriff: Man flees from Limestone deputies in stolen ambulance, stolen fire truck

Madison

Triana, Madison libraries offer Makerspace for hi-tech crafts and more

Harvest

Art Tour of Homes expands into Madison with Estes and Overcash houses

Bob Jones High School

Neha, Puja Chopade’s research with Harvard mentors published in journal

Madison

Wroblewski in 15-mile swimming challenge for Wounded Warriors

Huntsville

Huntsville Ballet Company announces new season

Digital Version

Check out the August 2022 issue of Madison Living

Madison

Madison teen charged with murder after allegedly shooting brother

Bob Jones High School

Madison Area Lions’ donations help school nurses

Madison

Trash Pandas hang on, beat Lookouts 3-2 in finale

Madison

NewsNation network lauds Rodney Smith’s free lawn care

x