Space girls to participate in Nasa programme

Dunedin secondary school pupils (from left) Sabine Mason, Hayley Everett and Peta Ericsson have...
Dunedin secondary school pupils (from left) Sabine Mason, Hayley Everett and Peta Ericsson have been selected to attend the Case Space School in the United States next month. PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
When Hayley Everett told her family she needed some space, and that she was going to the United States, they were surprised but very encouraging.

That's because the 14-year-old Otago Girls' High School pupil has been selected to go on a life-changing journey to Nasa facilities in Houston, Texas and Huntsville, Alabama as part of the Case Space School.

She will be joined by St Hilda's Collegiate pupils Peta Ericsson and Sabine Mason (both 13), in the programme which aims to give young secondary school pupils a taste of the careers they could forge in the space industry, if they continue to foster their science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) skills.

The two-week programme, dubbed "youth astronaut training'', inspires skill development that is not possible in a school environment.

The girls were looking forward to working with like-minded pupils from around the world on simulated missions, space suit tests in low-gravity environments, rocket building, touring the Johnson Space Centre and meeting a Nasa astronaut.

Peta was particularly excited about the rocket-building activity because she had ambitions of becoming an aeronautical engineer.

"I'd really like to design and develop planes.

"This will give me an idea of where I want to go and how to get there.''

The trip begins on July 8.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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