HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – Students and staff at STEM School Highlands Ranch are rallying around Kendrick Castillo, trying to get NASA’s new Mars Rover named after him. Castillo lost his life on May 7, after two students opened fire in the school, killing Castillo and injuring eight others.

Students and staff at STEM School Highlands Ranch want to name the Mars Rover after Kendrick Castillo.

Students and staff at STEM School Highlands Ranch want to name the Mars Rover after Kendrick Castillo. (credit: CBS)

Castillo, 18, was killed when he and two classmates tackled one of the shooters.

“You know you could name a planet after him and it still wouldn’t be enough. When you meet people who are truly larger than life, that was him. His impact on everyone here is immense,” said engineering teacher Mike Shallenberger.

Kendrick Castillo was a member of team STEM IMPULSE, the varsity robotics team at STEM School and Academy in Highlands Ranch.

Kendrick Castillo was a member of team STEM IMPULSE, the varsity robotics team at STEM School and Academy in Highlands Ranch. (credit: CBS)

NASA is inviting students to submit essays to name their next Mars rover. Kindergarten through 12th grade students have until Nov. 1 to submit a name, and why they think it should win. STEM School Highlands Ranch will be offering workshops to help any students who want to participate in the contest.

“It seems really fitting because I feel like eventually he would be designing something that would go to Mars so might as well get his name there now,” said Kendrick’s friend Henry Shallenberger.

Kendrick Castillo and classmates at STEM School and Academy in Highlands Ranch

Kendrick Castillo and classmates at STEM School and Academy in Highlands Ranch (credit: CBS)

Kendrick loved engineering, robotics, and space. His engineering teacher, Mike Shallenberger says no student had a bigger impact on him.

“The thing I think I’ll remember most is the way he engaged everyone he was around. He was the kid that was not afraid to be nice. He was the kid who was brave enough and self-confident enough to be nice to everybody,” he told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.

For more information on the NASA contest, click here.

 

Dominic Garcia

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