Spotlight on youth: Government Hill Elementary names a satellite to be launched into space

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - It's one thing to witness a satellite being launched into space. It's another thing to actually name one. That's just what happened for students at Government Hill Elementary this week.

Engineers Katelyn Sweeney and Kevin Macko from OneWeb took over a class at Government Hill to teaching students about space and satellites

The two also delivered some news: Government Hill Elementary was one of six schools in the world and the only one in the country to decorate and select a name for a satellite set to launch into space.

"They had to choose six schools and one school out of the U.S., and they chose our school which is pretty cool because you'd think that the last place they'd think about is Alaska," said one of the students.

OneWeb's objective is to launch more than 600 satellites, so that some of the most remote parts of the world can stay connected.

"Alaska is one of the least connected states in our country and as far as connectivity goes, Government Hill school is already connected, but it represents such a broad diverse group of students that we really wanted to use them as our pilot because we think they represent so many different backgrounds and different stories," said Sweeney.

It also allowed the opportunity for them to expose students to their profession.

"Being an engineer you can design things to help people and it's real fun and we like showing that to kids," said Sweeney.

"They're the next generation of engineers and leaders and we're really lucky to be here teaching them," added Macko.

Since Government Hill is a Spanish immersion school, the students chose a name with both Alaska and Spanish meaning. Floating above the earth's atmosphere is a satellite named Nanuq Oso Polar, which means Polar Bear Polar Bear.

[If you have story ideas for Channel 2's Spotlight on Youth series, specifically young people in the community you think should be highlighted, send them to]

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus