NASA Astronaut Eric Boe Visits Fernbank Science Center

NASA Astronaut and Air Force Col. Eric A. Boe visited Fernbank Science Center and a number of other DeKalb schools during a visit to Atlanta, February 19-21, 2009. Boe was a student in the Discovery aerospace classes at Fernbank many years ago and was taught by Fernbank instructors, Dr. Debi Huffman and Carol Hickson (now retired). From an early age of five, Boe knew that he wanted to “reach for the stars” either as a test pilot or astronaut, and he promised Dr. Huffman that she would be a special guest at his first space mission. That dream was realized on November 14, 2008 at 7:55 p.m. as Dr. Huffman stood with the Boe family at Cape Kennedy and space shuttle mission STS-126 rose from the launch pad and climbed to the International Space Station.

On board the shuttle, Astronaut Boe carried with him a special Fernbank flag, designed by Tony Madden of the Fernbank staff. This flag was later returned to Earth and presented to Fernbank Director, Doug Hrabe, in a special ceremony during Boe’s visit.

While visiting the DeKalb School System, Boe stopped by Evansdale Elementary, Henderson Middle, Lakeside High, and Arabia Mountain High School, as well as visiting McNair Discovery Learning Academy, after-school students at Fernbank Elementary and met with the public at Fernbank Science Center. For a photo gallery from each location click on the links below.


Astronaut Boe attended Evansdale Elementary and was a 1983 graduate of then Henderson High School, now Henderson Middle School. Astronaut Boe holds a Bachelor of Science in Astronautical Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Through a multi-media presentation, Boe shared with DeKalb students many details of the preparation for a mission as well as pictures and videos from the launch and while on board the International Space Station. His message to DeKalb students was to “turn your dreams into goals and your goals into reality.”

Eric Boe made several presentations for the public in the Jim Cherry Memorial Planetarium and generously met with students, parents and teachers afterward to sign photographs and pose for pictures. Astronaut Boe and his son, Tony, also attended Fernbank’s popular SEMAA LINKS program, Science Night Out, where participants in grades 4-6 built LEGO robots and engaged in hands-on science activities.