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Project Could Open NASA’s Doors For 2 Minn. Teens

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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By Rachel Slavik, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A group of high schoolers from Royalton are getting some unexpected attention, all because of an extracurricular project that is opening doors for their future.

Hunter Jasmer and Brittany Martinez are used to answering questions about their solar boat.

“All built from the ground up by a bunch of students,” said Martinez.

The two have toured the state showing off the Royalton Tech Club’s design.

“Our solar panel sits in there and then that will charge the batteries,” demonstrated Jasmer.

But at a recent technology conference for teachers, the two weren’t just getting questions about the boat. They were getting questions about their future.

“We also had a person from NASA come talk to us,” said Jasmer.

When NASA advisor Joyce Winterton saw their invention, she also saw two scientists in the making.

“I was very impressed. Clearly, they are the type of students who can take a problem and solve it and that’s what we’re looking for at NASA,” said Winterton.

“She said we should start thinking about applying for an internship for NASA,” said Jasmer.

Both Hunter and Brittany will have to go online and apply, just like any other student.

However, Winterton seems to think these two have a really good shot at working side-by-side with NASA scientists.

“What’s not cool about outer space? I think it’s pretty sweet,” said Jasmer.

It’s a project that started as a push for green energy and now it’s pushing two high school students to a career in science.

“When you think about Royalton, Minnesota, you don’t think of something this extraordinary,” said Martinez.

As interns, the students would actually design rockets or balloons that would be sent into space. Neither student has applied quite yet.

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