Ryan Racioppo and his twin sister, Haley take part in the Westinghouse educational program on Saturdays that are offered here in the Pittsburgh area. Both also participate in the NMSI AP program in the AASD.
Ryan was so impressed and engaged with one of the recent Westinghouse presenters he took the initiative to approach him to learn more about his area of specialization. Dr. L. Alberto Cangahuala is the Europa Clipper Mission System Manager with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. The laboratory works in affiliation with NASA on space exploration missions and projects.
Dr. Cangahuala was so impressed during his interactions with Ryan that he offered to visit his school. Ryan, along with his Physics teacher Mr. Paul Hladio, corresponding with Dr. Cangahuala, collaborated with AAHS administration to have the distinguished professional visit Ambridge Area School District November 10, 2018. Dr. Cangahuala's afternoon visit included an awe-inspiring presentation on the Europa Project. It was truly an event filled with insight and details on how this project will be executed by 2030, including the rational for selecting the Europa moon of Jupiter for exploration, what and how exploration data will be selected to make the trip, why the team believed water exist on the moon and insight how the professional from Baldwin Wallace went on to attend MIT to lead the team for JPL. We only regret that we actually ran out of time at the end of the school day.
Dr. Cangahuala’s family still resides in the Western PA area and he has agreed to visit AAHS again in the future. We look forward to the time that visit can be realized.
The following was Dr. Cangahuala’s note to Ryan Racioppo as a follow up to his time at AAHS:
“Thanks to you and the staff for making yesterday’s meeting possible, and for the pictures. You showed great initiative in reaching out in the first place; whileI hope I helped with your queries, I must thank you, Mr. Booher, and your classmates for your contagious enthusiasm. I look forward to keeping in touch; in the mean time I wish you, your class and faculty all the best in your studies in the year ahead.”