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Visiting astronaut has encouraging words for local students

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Updated: 5/12 9:50 pm

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Astronaut Richard Linnehan has been to space plenty of times and he has seen what many only dream of seeing with their own eyes.

On Monday, Linnehan gave his time to children.

Hundreds of seventh graders at Hyde Park Middle School eagerly greeted to Linnehan. He told his story and shared wisdom with students, who are our future.

"Things are going to be so much diffferent and you're going to be a part of it," Linnehan said.

Linnehan joined NASA in the 1990s, has been on four space flights, including six space walks and logged over 23 million miles. Now he's trying to launch young minds to consider sticking it out, to learn why math and science are so important in their future, and to really know what makes things function.

"You understand how it works? When you turn the TV on, do you really understand how it works? Or even when you turn your car on?" Linnehan said.

His visit was to tell students how a STEM education, that is: science, technology, engineering, mathematics which can lead to careers, such as astronomy, and how we live in a world where everything seems to be high tech.

"You don't have to know how to fix. You have to understand the scientific principles behind that, 'cause if you don't, you're not going to be productive, and you're not going to be successful in this society," Linnehan said.

And reaching them early while they're still in middle school is a high priority to Linnehan who just wants young students to realize: there is a point in keeping up in school, and hopefully to aim high and reach for the stars.

"These kids are at a different level than we are, but where they we are now, if you could jump forward 20 years let's say where we are now, it's going to be changed so much. We can't even imagine," Linnehan said.

And while Linnehan stressed thte importance of ever-changing technology, he also emphasized the importance of not dropping out of high school.

Linnehan's future plans include continue speaking to young people and become more involved in conservation efforts.

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