Harlingen High School and Harlingen High School South students in CTE classes were invited on a tour of the SpaceX facility in Boca Chica in early April.
“The best thing about the tour was that the workers there were very happy to talk to us about the careers and what direction they took to become successful,” Harlingen High School senior Ellwyn Scott said. “SpaceX and HCISD partnered up for the future of the students. This will allow us to have a lot of opportunities in the careers we decide to pursue.”
Throughout the tour, students were able to observe how spacecrafts are manufactured from beginning to end.
“From the shell to the motors to even the little black shield pieces on the outside of the rocket, we saw how spacecrafts are made,” Harlingen South senior Rabbi Camacho said. “My favorite part was the building where they do all of the piping work such as bends, welds, and small cuts on the pipes to fit a certain project.”
Students in classes such as construction technology, electrical construction, engineering, welding, and culinary arts got the opportunity to observe how their selected pathways were contributing to the overall mission and goals of the SpaceX program.
They also learned about future learning and career opportunities available at SpaceX as well as observed new technological advances while they toured the facilities and witnessed employees at work.
“The best part of the tour was seeing the different welders,” Harlingen South senior Pedro Trevino said. “They also had robotic welders. I took the construction technology class because I was interested in welding.”
This group of students was even able to see one of the rockets being transported to the launch pad on the day of their tour.
“The best part of the tour was seeing the SN-15 rocket leaving its holder and slowly moving out of the facility and out to the road,” Harlingen High School senior Sebastian Cantu said. “I learned that they are getting more efficient day by day when it comes to making the rocket. A worker told me that they want to make it so they can build a rocket within three days. It was an honor to be a part of a group that had a once-in-a-lifetime experience to go to SpaceX and learn all the things that they work on.”
Students left the trip amazed and with new ideas and plans for their own future careers.
“I want to pursue welding or metal fabrication,” Rabbi Camacho said. “I’d be glad to work for SpaceX someday in the future. Maybe even to help out with some new discoveries about rockets and better ways to go into and get back from space.”
This was the first HCISD student tour of SpaceX. Many other groups of teachers and students will have an opportunity to visit these facilities in the future.