RALEIGH High school students from the Triangle were invited to experience life as a NASA astronaut and delve deeper into science, space and technology.Five students were invited to the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., where they were given the opportunity to participate in the same training simulations as NASA astronauts including simulated shuttle missions and a moon walk; meeting NASA scientists, engineers and former astronauts; and designing, building and testing their own rockets. “We were exposed to team building related activities with other students participating such as acting as a control center and trying to land a shuttle,” said Levi Malin, 18, a senior at Wakefield High School in Raleigh. For students from Raleigh Malin and his brother, Ethan, Natalie Collier and Andrew Harwood and Justin Hudson of Wendell were the five North Carolinians represented at the academy. This year, the academy selected 320 students from 45 countries and 27 states to participate.”Being with people from different countries, like Saudi Arabia and Argentina, I was able to see our similarities and differences,” said Levi Malin. “It was a great experience to learn how people lived in other nations, and to see how they think and problem-solve as we worked on leadership activities together. I’ve learned it’s good to be both a leader and a follower, and to know when to be which.” The Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy is a unique scholarship program developed in partnership with the U.S. Space and Rocket Center (USSRC) that uses interactive technology, science-oriented workshops, and team exercises to teach high school students leadership skills in science, technology, engineering and math, otherwise known as STEM. The week-long program is open to all students, ages 16-18, of current full-time Honeywell employees.”My passion in life is science,” said Ethan Malin. “This was an opportunity for me to be in a place I love, with new people from different countries speaking different languages, all working together to achieve goals in science, aviation, engineering, math and technology. “In marching band at school, I’ve always struggled with confidence as a leader. This experience helped me learn confidence on a team,” he added. Each year, several hundred students apply for admission to one of the sessions. Entry into the program is granted after an application and review process based on academic achievement and community involvement. Since the program’s launch in 2010, Honeywell, in partnership with the USSRC, has awarded more than 2,090 scholarships to students to attend space camp.
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