Honeywell has sent nine South African students to the US Space & Rocket Centre (USSRC) in Huntsville, Alabama, as part of the 10th annual Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy (HLCA). From 23-27 February, the learners joined 287 other students from countries across the world for a once-in-a-lifetime programme of real-world, hands-on activities spanning coding, computer science and astronautics.
Open to high school students from 16 to 18 years old, the programme is organised by Honeywell and the USSRC to encourage young people to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. With the 30 fastest-growing occupations globally all related to STEM topics, engaging students in science and engineering has become a learning fundamental.
“As a software industrial technology leader at the forefront of the Internet of Things, STEM subjects are extremely important to Honeywell,” said Sean Smith, president of Honeywell Africa. “We have been sending African students to space camp since 2013, and in that time have provided an opportunity to 32 deserving learners to experience first-hand the practical aspects of aeronautics and space exploration. HLCA has given some of South Africa’s bright young minds a new way to get inspired and excited by STEM subjects. We are very proud of the way our African learners have embraced the programme, and of everything they have achieved as a result.”
During the immersive week-long programme designed to enhance both self-supported learning and team work, students develop STEM leadership skills through immersive and interactive tasks including building, coding and testing rockets, simulated astronaut training, shuttle missions, and a low-gravity moonwalk. Students also use computational thinking and computer science to deepen their digital skills.
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