Four Year 12 students from Banbury’s Space Studio and Academy are about to embark on a once in a lifetime trip to NASA.
Olivia Guntrip, Aaron Moate, Jacob Breed and Zach Vakil will be Texas-bound next Wednesday when they will start a nine-day educational tour of Houston’s Space Centre before heading east to visit the Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral in Florida.
The trip is part of the Space Education Adventures Program and the final four had to undergo a stringent selection process comprising of a written application followed by an interview with the accompanying teacher Simon Sterland and Gina Wilcocks, co-coordinator of science at the school.
This will be the first trip to the United States for all four students and each one hopes to gain knowledge and insight into very different aspects of space travel.
Zach said: “I would like to study mathematics but there are many various fields so I think this trip will allow me to get an insight into the various applications of maths.”
Both Olivia and Aaron, however, have a fascination with the effects of space travel on the human body.
Aaron said: “I want to study psychology at university so I am keen to find out about that.”
Olivia said: “There’s not going to be people who are specific doctors up there. I want to know how that is maintained.”
In addition to the regular tourist tours, the students will get a chance to delve deeper behind the scenes and have an interview with astronauts scheduled.
In preparation for the trip the students have been eagerly raising the money to fund it. Including the cost of the teacher, the trip will total £10,000 and all four have been staging and taking part in sponsored events, even during the run up to their AS-level exams.
Olivia said: “We’ve been sending out letters to prospective companies who might be interested in sponsorship. We’ve also been doing fundraising events at the weekend. Last week we were at the District Show and the Family Fun Day which was held here.”
Jacob added: “We’ve been doing all kinds of minor events around the school as well.”
Next Monday they will hold a car wash at the school and have future events in the pipeline.
With just under a week before take off the four students are becoming increasingly excited about the possibilities the trip will offer.
Jacob said: “I think it’s all about the experience and the knowledge you can learn and the contacts you can make.”
He added: “It’s a once in a lifetime trip.”
To sponsor the group visit uk.gofundme.com/trip-to-nasa/