GLENDALE—Chamlian Armenian School’s 4th to 8th grade students had the unique opportunity to participate in an assembly on November 5 about NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, the Mars Science Laboratory project and the “Curiosity” Rover.
The assembly was presented by several Armenian engineers and scientists who worked on the project, including Arbi V. Karapetian, the technical group supervisor for the Integration and Test Engineering Group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.
After the group assembly, 7th and 8th grade students broke out into small groups, each led by a JPL scientist. During the interactive break-out sessions, students got a close-up look of the “Curiosity” model, with some even trying on the “bunny suits” — the everyday outerwear of the rover scientists during the seven years they assembled Curiosity at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. “Imagine working like this for 12 hours a day,” Karapetian said.
“They asked so many really good questions and they were so enthusiastic about space,” said Ted Iskenderian, who has worked on various projects at JPL for the past 28 years. “To be with kids, it reminded me of how I felt when I was their age.”
The school administration is grateful to Karapetian and the Mars Science Laboratory team members for their visit and for providing Chamlian students with an invaluable learning experience.