Many children once dreamed about the thrill of space, whether it was the idea of flying a rocket ship or walking on the moon. While those dreams often fade away, Honeywell is reinvigorating those aeronautical aspirations for teenagers.
During February and March, children of Honeywell workers combined lessons about space with leadership techniques through the week-long Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy.
Alicia Knox, a junior at Campo Verde High School in Gilbert, went to the program at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. There were 304 students from 38 countries at the event, which was free except for the plane ticket to Alabama.
“I was able to take away a lot of lessons, not just random facts about space and astronauts, but also how to be a good leader and how to lead and when to follow,” Knox said.
At the week-long space camp, children of Honeywell workers learned about space and leadership. They built rockets, flew F-18 simulators, made heat shields, used astronaut equipment and reenacted a space mission.
“It was really cool to experience the training (astronauts) have to go through and see exactly the training they have to do before they are able to fly space shuttles worth billions of dollars into space,” she said.
Knox, whose mother works for Honeywell, said she was not sure about the program when her mother initially told her about it.
“At first I was a little apprehensive because it’s a science camp and it’s going to be just straight math and science,” Knox said. “It was totally one of the best weeks of my life instead.”
Another thing Knox really enjoyed was the diversity of the people she got to meet at camp. There were people from a mixture of European and Asian countries who were brought together because they had parents who worked for Honeywell.
Holly Hobgood, a sophomore at Hamilton High School in Chandler, said that aspect of the experience was her favorite part.
“There were tons of people there and they were from all over the world,” she said. “Under any other circumstance I would never have met these people.”
Like Knox, Hobgood said she was concerned about the camp because it seemed so science and math based, but she also learned a lot about leadership, and she hopes that helps her be successful in both high school and college.
“I was kind of hesitant to go because its space camp, but it was probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” Hobgood said.
• Shelby Slade is a sophomore at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is an intern with the Tribune this semester. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.