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Cerritos High School’s ‘Rocketeers’ Compete Internationally

Cerritos High School’s Rocketeers, from top to bottom, Conely Tjahjono, Gene Luevano, Benjamin Pluma, Curtis Garrett, Julio Juarez, Htet Naung, Lamour Atkins, Dev Bhatia, David Rodriguez, and Andreya Garcia. Photo courtesy ABCUSD.

Cerritos High School’s Rocketeers, from top to bottom, Conely Tjahjono, Gene Luevano, Benjamin Pluma, Curtis Garrett, Julio Juarez, Htet Naung, Lamour Atkins, Dev Bhatia, David Rodriguez, and Andreya Garcia. Photo courtesy ABCUSD.

On September 24th, the 10 member Rocketeers from Cerritos High School went to Washington, DC for the Mars Society Convention to be part of the International Gemini Mars Design Competition. 
The competition asked engineering students from around the world to design and plan a two-person Mars flyby mission that could be launched by 2024 and would be placed on the desk of the U. S. president-elect in November 2016. 
The competition brought out the world’s best universities, representing 7 countries including Japan, Russia, and Australia. 
When the Mars Society narrowed all their entrants down to the top ten finalists, they included the 10 member Rocketeers from Cerritos High School. Cerritos was the only high school selected as a finalist and asked to present their proposal to a conventional hall of spectators and renowned scientists. 
The team, consisting of Lamour Atkins, Dev Bhatia, Andreya Garcia, Curtis Garrett, Julio Juarez, Eugene Luevano, Htet Naung, Benjamin Pluma, David Rodriguez, and Conely Tjahjono, worked on their presentation under the direction of teachers Philip Turek, Britni Rebollar, and Bryan Jernigan. 
The presentation went so well that The Mars Society is now in discussions to create a competition at the high school level, due in part to the work the Cerritos High School students turned in. 
Dev Bhatia, senior leader of the Rocketeers, summed up the project and presentation as, “A truly a remarkable experience that showed me nothing is impossible if I have the drive to go out and do it. ” 
For more information on the Gemini Mars Design Finalist visit www.marssociety.org/

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