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 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.
Then-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