Three Isle of Man students are bound for NASA to attend the United Space School in Houston, Texas, after winning a prestigious scholarship.
Ciara Sowerby from Ballakermeen High School, Jowi Szetu, from Castle Rushen High School, and Will Farrant from Ramsey Grammar School are this year’s winners of the space school scholarships, awarded each year since 2000 by Manx satellite firm the ManSat Group.
The three, who are all lower sixth form pupils (year 12), will fly to the US later this month and spend two weeks working with peers from more than 20 countries on planning a simulated manned mission to Mars. The activities will be supported by NASA astronauts, engineers and scientists.
Ciara, who is studying mathematics, biology and history at A-level, said: ’I was drawn to the competition after seeing previous winners from my school having a fantastic experience at the space school. I’ve always been interested in space, and over the years I have learnt to love the subject more and more. I’m looking forward to getting to know all of the students who are taking part; we have been talking on social media and they all seem really nice.’
Jowi is studying mathematics, further maths, physics and computer science at A-level.
’I’ve always had an interest in space, and when I heard about the competition in a school assembly, I knew I had to enter,’ he said.
’After A-levels, I am hoping to go to university and study computing, so even though my subject of choice isn’t directly related to space, it is a field I am very interested in - and this trip could sway me.’
Will, who is studying mathematics, physics and Spanish at A-level, said: ’When I was younger I wanted to be a pilot, but more recently I started looking at different careers in engineering so this seemed like a logical competition to enter.
’By choosing physics and maths at A-level, I have set myself up for an engineering career, so hopefully this trip will give me some more ideas on areas I would like to study further.
’I went to Florida when I was younger, and visited the Kennedy Space Centre which left me awe-inspired over the size of the Saturn V rocket, amongst the many other feats of engineering on show there.’
ManSat chief financial officer Ian Sanders said: ’The standard of entries for the competition was once again remarkably high.’