Burns SciTech school year: Space Station transmission, cheerleaders compete, poster contest winner

Burns SciTech winning poster / Headline SurferHeadline Surfer video, above left / Burns SciTech students speak via HAM radio from the school Sept. 13 with a NASA astronaut aboard the International Space Station.
Courtesy video, above right / BST cheerleaders compete March 2 at Mainland High, winning 1st place in team and solo dance.
Photo for Headline Surfer / BST student Hunter Hill wins the "Won't You Be My Neighbor" 2013 Fair Housing Poster Contest, announced this week. 

OAK HILL -- The students, faculty and staff at Burns Science and Technology Charter School had quite the year -- from students talking to a NASA astronaut via ham radio to the cheerleading squad winning competitions to a student winning a national poster contest. 

Hunter Hill of the Burns SciTech Charter School was recently announced as the the winner of the "Won't You Be My Neighbor" 2013 Fair Housing Poster Contest. 

His drawing had two houses side by side with a common driveway and a fence behind the dwellings as opposed to one dividing them. 

Photos for Headline Surfer / Here are several of the winning BST cheerleaders from the March 2 competition at Mainland High School.

The Burns SciTech cheerleaders won first place in the team category at a regional cheering competition at Mainland High School in March.

And cheerleader Kaylee Bittle won an individual first place award in the dance category. 

The BST girls volleyball team competed for the first time in September at Sacred Heart.

The biggest highlight of the school year, though, occurred Sept. 13, with Burns SciTech students speaking from the school via HAM radio with NASA astronaut Sunita Williams aboard the International Space Station. 

Burns SciTech students speak with NASA astronaut on Int'l Space Station / Headline SurferOak Hill Burns SciTech students speak with astronauts on Int' Space Station via HAM radio / Headline SurferBurns SciTech students ask questions of NASA astronaut Sunita Williams with the help of HAM radio operators.

Burns SciTech Principal Jan McGee welcomed local and county officials, including then-Oak Hill Vice Mayor Linda C. Hyatt, City Commissioners Kathy Bittle, Doug Gibson and Ron Engele, along with the HAM radio volunteers with the Daytona Amateur Radio Club.

McGee had accepted the "Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Project Award" as one of 18 schools across the country.

Oak Hill Vice Mayor Linda Hyatt reads proclamation for Burns SciTech / Headline SurferThen-Vice Mayor Linda Hyatt reads a proclamation on Sept. 13, on behalf of the City of Oak Hill recognizing the historic transmission between the students at Burns SciTech and a NASA astronaut aboard the International Space Station.

After the HAM transmission from Burns SciTech to the International Space Station, Hyatt issued McGee and her staff a proclamation from the City of Oak Hill, describing the historic event as "an exciting moment, not only for Burns, but the City of Oak Hill as well."

Here are examples of some of the questions asked by students:

First-grader Tristen Lee asked: "What do you miss most about Earth?" Williams responded in part she most missed her 11-year-old dog.

Second-grader Finn Sherman asked: "What do I need to learn to become an astronaut someday?" The astronaut responded: "Math, all the basic core subjects are extremely important, but math is an absolute must-learn subject."

Third-grader Carly Dunlop asked: "What planets can you see?" Williams responded: "I can see the same planets you do at the same distance, but it is much clearer up here."

Fourth-grader Mila Rocco Griffin asked: "What project are you working on?" The astronaut responded: "Experimenting with bone density in space."

Sixth-grader Mickey Mitchum asked: "Do you feel less hungry in space?" Williams responded: "Yes. It's easier to lose weight in space."

Editor's Note: You can listen to the full HAM radio transmission between the Burns SciTech students and the NASA astronaught aboard the International Space Station by clicking this link: http://www.arrl.org/listen-to-watch-ariss-contacts.

FAST FACTS: Burns SciTech charter school

Oak Hill Burns SciTech Charter School Principal Jan McGee / Headline SurferPhoto for Headline Surfer / Principal Jan McGee is shown here at left.
Burns Science and Technology Charter School's mission is to cultivate learners and leaders who are inspired, able, and prepared to make a positive difference in the world. Burns SciTech's philosophy is being committed to providing challenging educational experiences through a rich and well balanced curriculum, emphasizing science in a technologically saturated environment.  That philosophy is straightforward and profound: In order for students to understand, they must do.  Burns SciTech offers a project-based, active learning environment that links to real life.  Burns SciTech fosters critical thinking, independent problem solving, strong communication skills, and ambitious goal setting that encourages students to learn. 
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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.