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The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

NASA directorate presents to Chinese classes

NASA+Moon+to+Mars+Mission+Directorate+Andres+Martinez+spoke+to+Chinese+IV+and+V+classes+over+Zoom+on+May+1.
NASA Moon to Mars Mission Directorate Andres Martinez spoke to Chinese IV and V classes over Zoom on May 1.

NASA Moon to Mars Mission Directorate Andres Martinez spoke to Chinese IV and V classes over Zoom on May 1. Martinez was named one of the top 20 most influential Latinos in technology in 2015, according to CNET. He is currently working on how plants sense gravity in space at the Moon to Mars Program Office.

Chinese teacher Bin He said he was motivated to bring in Martinez as a speaker for his Chinese class after learning about his accomplishments at a conference for bilingual education.

“Martinez was selected as the special speaker for our class primarily because his areas of expertise closely align with our recent class theme [of] Mythology and Space Projects,” He said. “I had the opportunity to meet him at the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) Riverside Conference, where his dedication to promoting science education among middle school students was clear. His involvement in cutting-edge projects at NASA and his personal journey overcoming challenges are particularly relevant and provide valuable lessons and motivation for our students.”

He said Martinez’s perspective as a directorate for one of NASA’s space projects was aligned with the Chinese class’ current focus on space innovation

“Our current project involves designing a space station, making his insights into NASA’s operations, particularly his work on small satellites and the innovative ‘Lab on Chip’ projects, highly relevant,” He said. “This will provide the students with real-world applications and a deeper understanding of the challenges and technological innovations in space exploration, which are critical to the successful design of a space station.”

Omar Rivera ’24 said Martinez’s presentation motivated him to take more of an interest in space and his current classwork.

“We have a Chinese [class] unit on space and all the functions of the International Space Station (ISS),” Rivera said. “[Martinez] is knowledgeable on that topic. He talked about the role of people of color in the NASA program, and it made me more interested in that field.”

John McNitt ’25 said he was inspired by Martinez’s knowledge of NASA’s Moon to Mars approach and his experiences as a minority. 

“Martinez’s presentation was truly enlightening,” McNitt said. “His deep knowledge of NASA’s work and his passion for space exploration were evident throughout his presentation. I learned a lot about his roots as the only Hispanic [student] in his college class and the current projects he is working on.”

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Nathan Wang, Assistant News Editor

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