News Archive

Interntional Space School

Lone Oak High School junior Garrett Garneau was one of 42 students from 23 countries chosen to attend the United Space School, an intensive space course in Houston, TX, this summer.

Garneau, 16, represented the United States in the 16-day program sponsored by the Foundation for International Space Education. Murray High School students Stephen Orr and Alex Carney joined Garneau in representing the U.S.

The three American students along with students from countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Boliva, Columbia, South Korea, and France completed a comprehensive application to be selected for the school. They met esteemed NASA personnel, toured major space and aeronautics corporations, experienced hands-on spaceflight preparation, and designed their own mission to Mars. I will always remember this experience, Garneau said. It helped me clarify my career goals and have a better idea of what space will be like in years to come.

An avid space enthusiast from a young age, Garneau said his love for space deepened after he flew missions at the Challenger Learning Center at Paducah with his fifth grade class in 2007.

I have loved anything about space since I was three- or four-years-old. I always thought it would be so cool to be an astronaut, Garneau said. But my experiences at the Challenger Learning Center were very interesting and taught me a lot about space and what it has to offer. Over the past two summers, Garneau returned to the center as a volunteer and enjoyed helping other young students develop an interest in space.

Garrett has been a wonderful role model for the younger children, said Mellisa Duncan, director of the Challenger Learning Center at Paducah. We are so proud that one of our own has received this prestigious honor. We cant wait to hear all about his experiences at the school.

After completing high school, Garneau plans to continue his education. He said he will take his experiences at the Challenger Learning Center and the United Space School and broaden his horizons in the space industry. I dont know what college I will go to yet, but I know I want to get my Ph.D., maybe in nanotechnology or aerospace engineering but definitely something to do with space.

The Challenger Learning Center, located on the campus of West Kentucky Community and Technical College, is a local space science center that encourages children to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. This month marks the centers 10th year anniversary.

For more information about the Challenger Learning Center, please visit