On Friday, July 26th, three high school students eagerly walked up the steps of the South Carolina State Museum. Although it was the midst of summer, these students chose to spend their morning at South Carolina ETV’s final Chasing the Moon event. That is because as they made their way to the third floor of the museum and turned the corner of the Science Exhibit, they knew they were walking into the opportunity of a lifetime.
These students were Morgan Swygert, Johnathan Luines, and Jose Lopez. Swygert is a Girl Scout and student at Brookland-Cayce High School in Columbia, South Carolina. Both Luines and Lopez are students from Legacy Charter Early College High School in Greenville, South Carolina. Luines and Lopez are also involved in the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab program, mentored by ETV Carolinas.
Armed with several well-researched interview questions, the students took their seats in front of a three-camera setup. They came that morning to be reporters for a Facebook-live interview that was streamed on SCETV’s page. They read over the scripts provided to them as they waited for their interviewee to arrive. After talking with Director Ken DeBerry and completing a round of mic checks, the star guest arrived. It was none other than General Charles Duke, one of only 12 men to ever walk the moon.
General Charles Duke gave the students great advice about their education. Luines asked him, “If you are interested working in NASA, what should you study in school?” General Charles Duke responded, “What I tell kids today is, you pick something you like and you enjoy. If you never get picked for the space program, that might be your number one goal, but if you never get picked, you’re doing something for the rest of your career that you enjoy. Don’t pick Physics because you think that you’ll get into the space program with a Physics degree, but you hate Physics. Pick something you like.”
The full interview can be viewed here.