Sevier Co. students learn rocket science from a NASA engineer with tenn roots.

Sevier Co. students learn rocket science from a NASA engineer with tenn roots.

SEVIERVILLE, Tennessee (WVLT) – A NASA engineer inspired the children of his alma mater in Sevier County. After talking to a few classes of third graders, they can tell you all about him and his work.

“We learned about spaceships and how they have to travel through the atmosphere with Stewart Whaley,” said Mason Gilbert, a third grader at Sevierville Middle School.

Gilbert and his classmates had never met someone who worked at NASA before.

“It was so cool,” Gilbert said.

Professor Kristen Hodges said he studied astronomy, learning about the solar system and space travel.

Hodges said: “It’s incredibly heartwarming and exciting to watch them gain so much knowledge over the past few weeks.”

“We were fortunate enough to have the experience of speaking with Stewart Whaley about his work and how he related to what we had studied, ”said Jessica Marlow, another third-grade teacher.

“It’s made up of stars and planets,” said third-grader Flynn Smelcer.

Director Noelle Sutton said they had to get creative with visitors this year due to the pandemic.

“I think it’s a moment they’ll remember,” Sutton said.

Ryelee Ownby said she learned a ton.

“We…

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