Reaching for the Stars

A STUDENT and a teacher from Girvan Academy are reaching for the stars this week after being selected for NASA’s prestigious Space School in Houston, Texas.

This year Girvan Academy has a fantastic opportunity to send one S5 higher physics student to the United Space School.

The space school is based in Houston University and is run by staff from NASA.

This year competition to be the pupil selected was fierce with four outstanding applicants for the place.

After completing a summary of why they wanted to go four pupils were selected for interview; Andrew Brown, Michael Green, Alison Pitt and Jay Taylor.

All of the candidates were super at interview and so this proved to be a very difficult decision for the panel to make.

The panel commented on the very high standard of the interview performances but finally decided that Alison Pitt should be the representative.

Alison now has to complete some physics tasks before the trip in July. She also has to raise funds to pay for the flights and the space school course.

Alison, who has a target of £1,500 to aim for, said: “This is the opprtounity of alifetime and I feel very privileged to be chosen to be the delegate for 2011.

“I have raised around £300 by having a pitch at a local car boot sale and by selling homemade tablet. I have plans to raise further funds through sponsorship, bake sales at the school, raffles and much more.”

The school is also planning to support Alison by allowing various in-school fundraising activities to be held.

Girvan Academy has also been selected to send a teacher, a chance which only comes around very infrequently as teachers are selected from all Scottish Secondary schools.

Science teacher Peter Long is also getting this once in a lifetime chance to take part in the Space school.

He will be able to learn more about the physics involved in sending people into space and will bring this into his teaching.

Alison will join another Scottish student and become not only Girvan Academy’s representative but also Scotland’s representative.

She will stay with an American host family and will work with students from a wide range of countries from all over the world.

This multinational selection of students will learn about the space programme and work on tasks together. They will also share information with each other about their home countries.