NASA Astronaut Visits Academy of Engineering and Green Technology

NASA Astronaut Visits Academy of Engineering and Green Technology

NASA Astronaut and education leader Leland Melvin visited Hartford Public High School’s Academy of Engineering and Green Technology in Hartford on Thursday, November 3rd.   Also in attendance were 8th graders from Rawson STEAM Lighthouse School who are members of the  LinkBots and Vex Robotics Team.  Melvin toured the school, spending time with the students from both schools and seeing their projects including the Nepal Wind Power Project, the lunar rover, robots, mobile apps and Vex and Lego robots.



Leland Melvin (left) discusses mobile app building with a student, with help from Lenovo.

He then discussed his life story, his experiences, and answered their questions.  His messages to the students were clear; never give up, surround yourself with people who truly care about your progress and your welfare, always take the positive road.  He quoted Mark Twain, ““The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why.”  He urged the students to find their interests and explore many paths. 



Mr. Melvin and students discuss improvements to the Lunar Rover for the next NASA competition in 2017.

He had never dreamed he would travel in space.  He went to college and studied chemistry, so when his NFL dreams were dashed by injury, he completed his Master’s degree and went to work for NASA as a scientist.




Members of the Rawson School LinkBots and Vex Robotics teams demonstrate their robots for Mr. Melvin.

Leland Melvin is the only person drafted by a National Football League team to soar into space as a NASA astronaut. His incredible story, marked by major challenges and setbacks, is one of perseverance and grit—and of giving back to inspire the next generation to reach for the stars.


Mr Melvin gets a closer look at last year’s Birds of Prey Robotics team’s robot that throws and scoops up balls.



Now, as the host of the Lifetime series Child Genius and a judge for ABC’s BattleBots, Melvin uses his life story as an athlete, astronaut, scientist, engineer, photographer, and musician to help motivate a new generation of explorers.





Mr. Melvin snaps a selfie with the young engineers. Executive Director of CBIA Education & Workforce Partnership, Andrea Comer looks on (right) smiling.

View more about Mr. Melvin’s visit on NBC Connecticut here.


About Hartford’s Academy of Engineering and Green Technology

The academy, located in Hartford Public High School, provides real-world internships for students at member businesses, offers transformative project-based learning experiences, and incorporates ongoing access to businesses through its advisory board.

Recently, students from the school completed work on Nepal 2.0, a project which brought electricity to two remote villages in the country.

Designed and built by the students, the hybrid wind and solar systems were transported more than 11,000 miles–by trucks, planes, and yaks–to the Himalayan villages of Namdo and Karang. This was the second time students at the school developed such a project, and they are currently fundraising for a third.

CBIA’s Education & Workforce Partnership helped create the Academy of Engineering and Green Technology at Hartford Public High School.

Melvin’s visit coincides with CBIA’s Annual Meeting, where he serves as keynote speaker.

CBIA is Connecticut’s largest business organization, with thousands of member companies, small and large, representing a diverse range of industries from every part of the state. For more information, please email or call Meaghan MacDonald (860.244.1957).