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BC student awarded astronaut training scholarship

By Bobby Tingle

Bobby.tingle@orangeleader.com

A Bridge City student had an opportunity to experience reaching for the stars.

Cameron Martin was chosen to attend a unique leadership camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Martin attended the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy with 320 other students from 36 countries and 30 U.S. states.

“It was an amazing experience,” Martin said.

To qualify students wrote two essays. In the first essay the student explains their expectations if chosen to attend the leadership academy. In the second essay, the applicant gives their definition of a leader. Those chosen to attend undergo a rigorous review of their essay application. Their academic achievement and community involvement also play a role in the acceptance decision.

Martin was among roughly 320 students globally (from 36 countries and 30 U.S. states and territories) accepted into Honeywell Leadership Academy Challenge.

The week-long program runs twice from February 20 to March 4, 2016, at the USSRC in Huntsville, Ala., and is open to all students, ages 16-18, of current full-time Honeywell employees.

Students who attended were divided into teams of sixteen students each. Those teams worked their way through the week long camp as a unit.   The camp provides innovative activities designed to develop students’ leadership skills. Each team designed, built and tested their own model rocket; engaged in simulated astronaut training sessions, shuttle missions and a moon walk; and performed scientific experiments.

A highlight of the week for Martin was the shuttle mission simulation.

“Only two members of each sixteen member team were chosen to wear the astronaut suit,” Martin said. “I was one of those two on my team.”

Outdoor challenges included a ropes course and climbing wall. Students also met NASA scientist, engineers and former astronauts who shared their professional experiences.

“I want this experience to further my leadership skills and help improve my ability to teach and help people,” Martin said.

He plans to make use of these skills now and later in his career.

Martin also is grateful for the opportunity to make new friends. Martin and his teammates plan to stay in touch. The week they spent together allowed them to form relationships that will surely benefit each personally and professionally in the future pursuits.