George Zamka, a Former Astronaut, Visits Colegio Menor

Camila Haldemann

The astronaut, George Zamka, recently visited Colegio Menor on September 17, 2013. Students from grades 6-8 had the unique experience of meeting him. Unquestionably, it was a flawless presentation where they got to know interesting facts about space, given that he travelled there twice. George Zamka was born in 1962 from an American father and a Colombian mother in New Jersey, but was raised in various different places, environments, and cultures, such as New York, Medellin, and Michigan. He graduated from the Rochester Adams High School in Michigan. Finally, when he was finished, his next destination was the USA Naval Academy, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics in 1984. He was hired as a second lieutenant In the United States Marine Corps. Afterwards, Zamka sought to expand his education, and moved to Florida where he studied at the Florida Institute of Technology.

He finished his studies in 1997, and since then has won many notable honors, including, NASA Space Flight Medal (two), NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Strike Air Medal (six), Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V and various other military service and campaign awards. Finally, the last awards he received were the Commodore’s list and Academic Achievement Award, Training Air Wing Five. (Johnson Space Center, 2013). His main objective in his pep talk was to motivate students to accomplish their dreams, because if he did achieve them, why can’t everyone else? Nicolas Pozo, a former Colegio Menor student, said that Zamka´s presentation was very interesting. They learned how he applies science and math to his daily job, and how everyone at the station was specialized in a specific area. Overall, he encouraged and inspired kids to follow their dreams.

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