Two sixth-form students will head to Space school this summer for an experience guaranteed to be out of this world.
Castle Rushen High School student Christopher Clarke-Halewood and Alex Eaton, of Queen Elizabeth II High School, will take their place alongside students from 21 other countries at NASA’s United Space School, in Houston, Texas.
Working in cooperation with the Department of Education and Children, island-based ManSat has been offering these annual scholarships since 2000.
The competition is open to year 12 students at the DEC’s five high schools, with entrants tasked with writing three short essays on Space related subjects.
ManSat chief executive Chris Stott said: ‘Many of our scholarship winners from previous years have gone on to careers within the space industry, or related fields, and they all speak very highly of the opportunities they received – not to mention the fun they had and the friends they made.’
Christopher and Alex will stay with families associated with NASA.
During the two weeks, they will attend the USS Culture Fayre, where they will promote their homeland.
Christopher said: ‘I’d always dreamt of working at NASA, but had always seen it as an impossible dream, and then when (ManSat finance director) Ian Jarritt came into school to do his talk about the competition, I began to realise that this impossible dream could become a reality.
‘It will be a once in a lifetime experience of working at NASA, and I’m also looking forward to making many new friends from around the world.’
He said he has always been interested in working in aerospace so ‘this opportunity could set the path to my future career’.
Alex said: ‘I have a passionate interest in astronomy and astro-physics, and this scholarship will provide me with the platform to progress onto my desired university degree – in physics or quantum/astro-physics – giving me an advantage in later life whilst looking for a potential career in this field.’
ManSat also sponsors and supports the Spirit of Innovation competition for Manx high schools, in co-operation with the Pete Conrad Foundation.
And it awards an annual ManSat Fellowship grant, for Manx students seeking to further their studies in Space, and scholarships to programs run by the International Space University in Strasbourg. Visit www.mansat.com for details.