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US trip out of this world

Saturday, 20th August, 2011

LEARNING CURVE: Teenager Ashleigh Adams at Trevor Barry’s BH observatory. LEARNING CURVE: Teenager Ashleigh Adams at Trevor Barry’s BH observatory.

By John Casey

 After a two-week odyssey at the United Space School in Houston, Texas, 16-year-old BH High student Ashleigh Adams is still coming back to earth.

And the rare experience she shared with elite teenagers from 18 different countries has only confirmed in her mind that an education at a United States University is where she is headed when she completes Year 12 in Broken Hill at the end of next year.

“This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and an incredible experience,” Ashleigh bubbled.

“There was so much I didn’t know before this trip and now I just want to learn more.

“I have always been interested in studying astrophysics and space and I am now seriously considering going to Uni in the United States,” Ashleigh continued.

While in Houston Ashleigh visited the Johnson Space Centre, the University of Texas medical branch and the Museum of Natural Science.

“At the University of Houston Clearlake we were broken up into teams, all in charge of different aspects of planning a mission to Mars.

“My team was Mission Control, space law and politics and was in charge of the whole mission budget.

“We also attended lectures from astronauts, space agents and professionals in many different space-related fields of work,” Ashleigh added.

Proud Mum Sue Adams has no doubt what a positive impact the tour has had on her daughter.

“At one stage she sent me a text message saying she was never coming home,” Mrs Adams smiled.

“Ashleigh has taken so much from her experience and I hope that other BH High students will continue this tradition in the future.”

Aside from gaining a broader space education, Ashleigh also enjoyed learning about the 17 other countries represented at the prestigious course.

“I learnt many different aspects about people from other countries,” Ashleigh said.

“It made me realise how different, but similar we all are.”

The near $5000 in costs associated with the trip were raised with the generous support of Broken Hill and Ashleigh was quick to thank all those who had supported her.

“The Broken Hill people were amazing with their generosity,” Ashleigh said.

“I have to say a big thank you to the University Department of Rural Health, the local clubs, businesses, banks and Credit Union - they were all so important in making this possible.”


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