Read hear about Senior Leo Kern's experience as a NASA Aerospace Scholar this past summer!
My journey to Mars through NASA’s High School Aerospace Scholars program was lined with challenges both large and small. However, thanks to the faculty at Houston Christian High School, I was admitted to the highly selective residential science and engineering program the summer prior to my senior year of high school.
I, Leo Kern, have attended Houston Christian since my freshman year and applied for the Aerospace Scholars program during my junior year at the urging of my physics teacher. The program is open to all junior high school students and begins with a four-month online course where I performed experiments, wrote essays, and interacted with other students online on STEM subjects.Each month, I completed one unit of a STEM class with an aerospace specialty that was centered around basic necessities for a complete mission to Mars.
Upon completion of this class, I -- and 45 other high school juniors -- was invited to a week-long, all expenses paid internship-style camp at Johnson Space Center in July of 2019. We were split into four teams and tasked as a group to present a complete mission to Mars by the end of the week. During this week, my team built Mars landers, a rover, and a model spacecraft that would be used to arrive at Mars.
I am extremely thankful for the support I received from my Houston Christian teachers. They were a source of constant encouragement that kept me afloat after I added essentially an entire class to my schedule junior year. NASA’s Aerospace program was a highlight of my summer, and something that I will not easily forget, all thanks to the vision of the Houston Christian faculty.