FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – A group of high school students in Clovis got an astronaut experience – not in space, but underwater. The students are part of a NASA-inspired program that combines science and technology with scuba diving.
On Friday, they were astronauts who have arrived at an abandoned space lab. That space lab needed to be repaired for an upcoming mission to Mars. That means they have to fix a leaking oxygen valve.
“We had to connect different PVC pipes and valves to blow three different balloons up,” said Buchanan High School student Paige Metzler.
30 students spent all week training, learning scuba diving, science, technology, engineering, and math.
“It’s based off a NASA diving program for their astronauts,” said scuba diving instructor Mike Fitzgerald.
Paige says taking the plunge into this week-long program has been fun, and she’s learned a lot about teamwork and improvisation.
“Thinking on the spot, and not being able to communicate that well underwater, it’s kinda hard to hear. So just being able to work well and not get frustrated ’cause it’s kinda timed.”
Dive into STEM is a Clovis Unified School District program through a partnership with the California scuba center. There are plans of expanding the course to other schools next year.