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  • The San Juan Daily Star

Mayagüez students earn top spots in NASA space mission & robotics competition

By The Star Staff

Students from the Centro Residencial de Oportunidades Educativas de Mayagüez (CROEM by its Spanish acronym) placed first in several categories of the “ROADS on Icy World” competition held by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where more than 50 schools in the mainland United States and Puerto Rico competed.

“The CROEM students managed to place in the categories Best Work Plan, Best Navigation Map Design and Best ID Card (best characterization of living organisms),” said Danelix Cordero, a physics teacher at CROEM. “They were awarded for their work in developing space missions inspired by real NASA space projects.”

Natalia A. Díaz, Brittany Justiniano, Andrés Pérez, Enrique Núñez, Omar Torres, Benjamín Irizarry, Gabriela Martínez, Fernando Ramírez, Alex Vázquez and Adrián Núñez completed different objectives within a mission.

“Our students stood out for the excellent and creative performances that allowed them to meet the project requirements,” Cordero said.

The CROEM school, founded by Dr. Ramón Claudio Tirado in 1968, is located at the former U.S. Army Air Force Radar Base at Cerro Las Mesas in Mayagüez. It houses 250 students who benefit from an academic curriculum emphasizing science, mathematics, and technology.

“All award-winning students belong to the physics, astronomy, and robotics courses of the number one school in Puerto Rico specializing in science and mathematics, as is CROEM,” Cordero noted. “NASA has traditionally acted as a professional development center offering access points to educational materials with projects and academic experiences for teachers and students interested in aeronautics and space. Educational activities designed by them allow young people to explore careers related to STEM fields. Statistics show that in the future, most of the participating students will pursue university studies in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”

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