News Column

NASA Engineer Will Speak Via Skype for SCTCC Commencement

May 8, 2013

NASA Engineer Adam Steltzner will be the keynote speaker at St. Cloud Technical & Community College's commencement ceremony and the Orion Project's summit.

The Orion Project, a comprehensive outreach to students in 10th and 11th grade who are failing science and math, was inspired by and is named for Steltzner.

Steltzner was the lead engineer of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover entry, descent and landing phase. He helped design, build and test the sky crane landing system. However, in high school he struggled with academics. The Orion constellation sparked Stelzner's interest in science, technology, engineering and math courses.

Steltzner "represents students we see every day at our community and technical college," said a release from SCTCC. "They are students who have been told that they are 'not college material,' and they believe it. They might not have a supportive home life; they may make some poor choices as young adults; they may not fit the typical teaching style in K-12 schools. So, they drop out of high school or barely graduate."

The Orion Summit will be May 22. Commencement is at 2 p.m. May 23 at River's Edge Convention Center. Steltzner will be speaking at both events via Skype.

Source: (c)2013 the St. Cloud Times (St. Cloud, Minn.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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