What is Mercer School? It is a private school located in Las Cruces, NM and it has about 20 students who enjoy the small classrooms and the learning opportunities.
But the enjoyment belongs to John Bernal these days. He just spent an afternoon with 20 students who were inspiring to him. Despite hardships or disabilities that the students might have, they raptly followed his every word.
"I asked them, what is the fastest machine on earth?" After one student answered, "a Maserati", Bernal encouraged her to think outside the box. "The Space Shuttle," she tried again.
"You're right!" he said and gave the student a NASA Space Shuttle mission sticker for answering correctly. Bernal was floored that the students had paid such in‐depth attention to his presentation.
Carlos Chormicle wrote Bernal to thank him for "all of the interesting words you said. I loved it! Someday I wish I can work for NASA, too. And I wish to be a scientist and work for NASA to study black holes."
Not only were the students inspired by Bernal's presentation about working at NASA, so was Ann Mercer, PhD, of Mercer School. "You really animated these students to study and dedicate time to education, so many of our students are high risk," she wrote.
Ezra Bracamonte wrote, "Thank you very much for your interesting presentation, it was very illuminating on my part, because my dream is to become a mechanical engineer, so I would be able to work at the space station. Maybe one day, I'll see you there or here again. Thank you very much."
Cheerie R. Patneaude
NASA JSC White Sands Test Facility