Sixth-form students in the Isle of Man have the chance to win scholarships from the ManSat Group to attend next summer’s NASA United Space School.
As it has done for the last 19 years, the Manx satellite company is again offering an incredible opportunity for young people to attend the prestigious Space School in Houston, Texas.
The winning students will work alongside peers from around the globe for two weeks, with the aim of planning a simulated crewed mission to Mars – backed by a support team of NASA astronauts, engineers and scientists.
Since 2000, working in conjunction with the Department of Education, Sport and Culture, ManSat has sent 38 Island students to the Space School – the first of whom, Dr Jennifer Stone, is now the company’s Chief Technical Officer.
The scholarships are open to all Year 12/Lower Sixth students attending the Isle of Man’s high schools or King William’s College during the 2019/2020 academic year. ManSat will cover all costs of attending the Space School, with students only responsible for their travel insurance and visa/ESTA.
The 2020 Space School will run from 19th July – 3rd August and ManSat will be awarding up to three scholarships to the students submitting the best answers to the following three questions:
• Q1: Why are you interested in space?
• Q2: How do you think the Isle of Man can contribute to space exploration?
• Q3: Should humans return to the Moon before going to Mars? Please justify your answer.
The answers to each question should be between 500 and 1000 words in length. All three questions must be answered.
Entries must be received before 11:59 pm Thursday, 9th January 2020. The winners will be announced by Friday, 17th January.
Dr Stone is visiting sixth forms around the Island next week to talk to students about the competition and outline what to expect at the Space School.
She explained: “I can speak from experience – this is a fantastic opportunity for students to do something that will stay with them forever and could set them on a very exciting career trajectory.
“The scholarship winners interact with NASA officials, scientists, and astronauts and work with peers from around the globe. Students from all fields of study are welcome to apply – there are many different career opportunities in the space industry, and you will find people with backgrounds in all A level and IB subjects working in the world’s space agencies.
“As always, we are grateful to the Department of Education, Sport and Culture, the Isle of Man high schools and King William’s College for their support in running this competition.”
For further information, interested students should contact their Head of Sixth Form directly or visit www.mansat.org
Graham Cregeen MHK, Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, said: “Our thanks to the team at ManSat for continuing these superb scholarships, which offer the winning students such an amazing life experience. It is great to meet the scholars on their return each year and listen to the wonderful stories they return home with.”
ManSat also supports Manx entries to the annual Conrad Challenge, in cooperation with Apollo Astronaut Pete Conrad’s Foundation, and has sponsored Island high schools to participate in the UK Rocketry Challenge.
In addition, the company awards an annual ManSat Fellowship grant for Manx students seeking to further their studies in space, and scholarships to attend programs run by the International Space University in Strasbourg.