Astronaut club students receive warm welcome home after national competition

Local News

ISLE OF HOPE, Ga. (WSAV) — A team of skilled Isle of Hope School students received an overwhelming show of support when they returned from competing in Florida on Thursday.

The school’s Astronaut Club, also known as the Fiddlernauts, came home victorious in at least one of the categories they competed against hundreds of other middle and high school students for the National Student Astronaut Competition at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

To celebrate their return, the Isle of Hope School’s students, faculty and staff poured out of their offices and classrooms, lining the halls to cheer on the team loudly as they walked through the school’s entrance.

Ten Fiddlernauts showed off their talents in four categories: the space shuttle landing simulation challenge, the space shuttle flight simulation challenge, the aerospace engineering challenge and the space science design challenge.

At their most recent competition, the team, who has brought home lots of trophies in previous years’ competitions, didn’t disappoint their fans — or themselves. 

The Fiddlernauts came in first place in the nation in the landing challenge and third place in the nation in the space shuttle flight simulation challenge.

“When we were doing those challenges, we got graded off of how we do,” said eighth grader Cameron Huggins.

“For example, for the design challenge, we had to come up with an idea to help astronauts with their feet,” she told News 3.

In the landing challenge, the team had to land about 38,000 feet from space on one of two runways. 

“One of us had to talk down, and one of us had to actually land the shuttle,” eighth grader Kelli Singleton told News 3.

Part of the challenge for the team was landing backwards at night, but they pulled it off.

“It feels really good,” Huggins said. “ It’s our last year, so, we were trying to make our coaches proud and win for the team.” 

The school organized a pizza lunch with a cake for dessert to greet the team in the cafeteria.

In 2019, the team placed second in the county at the National Student Astronaut Competition.

That year, they brought home a first-place win for the landing challenge — an impressive feat they competed with an all-girl team.

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