Cool at School: Northwest students help chart the stars for NASA - 8 News NOW

Cool at School: Northwest students help chart the stars for NASA

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LAS VEGAS - Ordinary students are doing some extraordinary things at Northwest Career and Technical Academy.

They are participating in the Radio Telescope Club and working directly with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a NASA contractor, to chart the stars.

“We are real-time collecting data, and the data is being used by the scientists. A lot of the scientists don't have enough time that they can do this, so they look to high school students like us to do the activities, and they are willing to give us those assignments,” said Northwest physics teacher Darrell Warren.

For the past seven years, his club has been helping NASA look at the energy associated with quasars. His students get a taste of what scientists do every day.

“We are challenging our physics students. Hey, this is what you can do. Look what happens when you get everything together, and you see what's happening. You get a big beautiful picture of what’s happening in the universe,” Warren said.

Northwest is one of only 300 high schools in the world, and the only school in Nevada, that has a radio telescope program. The students know how valuable it is.

“That’s the crazy part. You're actually working with the real organization. It's a big organization,” said student Ann Opara. “It makes you feel really important, like NASA depends on me to help them figure out where their quasars and their stars are.”

Some of Warren's students have already gone on to become research scientists. He hopes his program acts as an inspiration for the teens.

The Radio Telescope Club represents What’s Cool at School.

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