Stepping up to the microphone in Parker-Bennett-Curry Elementary School’s gymnasium Monday, fourth grade math teacher Kendra Lowe had a surprise announcement for a student who’d received one out-of-this-world experience.
“Guess what, you guys,” Lowe said, hyping up students as they gathered for a morning assembly before starting the school day. “One of our students from Parker-Bennett-Curry gets to go to space this summer. For free.”
“Congratulations and welcome to Space Camp to our very own fourth grader, MK Hudson!,” Lowe declared as MK stepped up to be recognized with a chorus of cheers and applause from students and school staff.
“I was actually surprised,” MK told the Daily News afterward, adding he’d hoped to get an award during the school’s morning assembly, but wasn’t counting on that.
MK enjoys solving problems, which is what makes math one of his favorite subjects in school, but he recognizes the answers don’t always come easily for other students. You have to study and work hard at getting better, he said.
“It takes lots of practice,” MK said.
MK was one of only 50 students to win a Passport to Space scholarship from Space Camp USA thanks to a partnership between Scholastic and LEGO City.
The announcement was also somewhat of a surprise for Lowe. She’d submitted a few student names months ago when the call for nominations went out, forgetting about it as time went by without any news. That changed recently when she opened her email and got the news: MK was going to Space Camp.
“MK was just a student who automatically kind of stood out because he just excels in mathematics and excels in science,” Lowe said.
This summer, MK will make the trip to Huntsville, Ala., to train like an astronaut in a 1/6th Gravity Chair, learn how to pilot a rocket spinning out of control, build and launch his own model rocket and more.
Lowe put the cost of a weeklong space camp experience at about $1,000, meaning the experience might otherwise be out of his reach.
“I feel pretty great,” Lowe said. “I know that we have some amazing kids at Parker-Bennett-Curry, and I’m just beyond excited that one of them gets to be recognized.”