A senior Highland secondary school pupil is over the moon after securing a place on a trip to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas . Corrin MacKenzie, of Inverness Royal Academy, is one of only 12 pupils in Scotland making the trip with the Scottish Space School.
Corrin will be given a rare opportunity to meet with many of the astronauts, engineers and scientists working on the space programme.
He was selected from 120 talented pupils who attended the residential Scottish Space School, run by the University of Strathclyde, in June this year following a rigorous selection process over the summer.
The Scottish Space School programme gives pupils a unique insight into the career and educational opportunities available through studying science, engineering and technology.
Gordon McVie, Outreach Coordinator at the University of Strathclyde’s Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, said: “We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and knowledge of this year’s Scottish Space School intake. Among them will be the engineers of the future, and each and every one has a very bright future ahead of them.
“The twelve pupils selected to go to Houston will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to talk to the astronauts and engineers, and get a rare glimpse at Johnson Space Center, the Challenger Center and George Observatory.
“It will show them a great example of just what can be achieved by engineers and scientists – and the vast array of careers available through technology-based subjects.”
The twelve pupils, all in sixth year, are:
• Corrin MacKenzie, Inverness Royal Academy
• Douglas Birse, Linlithgow Academy
• Jack Cunningham, Williamwood High School
• Christopher Doyle, Bannerman High School
• Paula Clancy, Holy Cross High School
• April Kilday, Cumnock Academy
• Rachael McAughtrie, Grange Academy
• Magnus More, Bell Baxter High School
• Holly O’Brien, Kings Park Secondary
• Alison Ramsay, Bannerman High School
• Jan Robertson, Renfrew High School
• Mark Stewart, Gryffe High School
The pupils have already completed a five day residential programme at the University including lectures, labs and workshops, and a rocket launch. Providing inspiration throughout the week to this next generation of scientists and engineers were British born NASA astronaut, Nicholas Patrick, and space suit design engineer, Heather Paul.
Scotland’s space industry is growing rapidly, with researchers and business people working increasingly closely to tap in to the global market for advanced technologies. The University of Strathclyde is also home to the Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory, a hub for world-leading researchers.
Professor Scott MacGregor, Dean of the University of Strathclyde’s Faculty of Engineering, added: “The pursuit of space travel has played a key role in supporting the development of technologies that many of us use every day – from satellite TV, to GPS and weather forecasting. All of these things are made possible through the ingenuity of our engineers and scientists.
“The residential Space School and the trip to Houston are designed to give our young people a snapshot of the work undertaken by engineers and scientist, and of the exciting career possibilities available in these fields.”
The Scottish Space School is now in its tenth year and is supported by grant-in-aid from Skills Development Scotland. More at: http://www.scottishspaceschool.org.uk/Pages/Home.aspx