CTV

Reaching new heights with NASA

Junior scores prestigious internship with High School Scholars program

One of Zdrojewski’s assignments involved designing a satellite that included four components: power, guidance, communication, and scientific instruments.  She had to use a program called TinkerCad to design it, an important program as students who advance to the on-site assignment will have to use the same one.

One of Zdrojewski’s assignments involved designing a satellite that included four components: power, guidance, communication, and scientific instruments. She had to use a program called TinkerCad to design it, an important program as students who advance to the on-site assignment will have to use the same one.

Peyton Hatcher, Assistant Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The only light in the hotel room came from a tv screen, as four teenage girls sat watching “Friends” during their Thanksgiving break in Florida, eating M&M’s and Doritos. In the corner, junior Kaitlyn Zdrojewski pounded away at her computer, furiously working to meet deadline. It was finally ready to submit. Her design of a rover to travel across the terrain of Mars was on its way to NASA.
To learn more about aerodynamic engineering, the major she plans to pursue after high school, Zdrojewski applied and was accepted to the NASA High School Aerospace Scholars program. This program focuses on applying STEM abilities to a theoretical trip to Mars. If Zdrojewski finishes in the top percentage of her program, she will get the opportunity to work at the Johnson Space center during the summer.
“It gives me an introduction to aerospace engineering,” Zdrojewski said. “My parents were saying that they were excited about it for me because it gives me an opportunity to see if this is something that I want to go into. In addition, it looks really good on college applications, something that will set me out from other people.”
Zdrojewski heard about the program from a family friend who participated in the program who now attends the University of Texas.
“His mom heard that I was interested in aerospace engineering, so she told my mom about it, and that’s how we got into it,” Zdrojewski said. “It was actually one and a half years before I was even eligible to apply, so we have been anticipating it.”
To gain acceptance, Zdrojewski had to write two essays – one to state representative and one to NASA – along with sending in multiple letters of recommendation from teachers and counselors.
“It was a little nerve-wracking to wait on the final outcome of her application, but once it came through, all of us were celebrating an incredible opportunity,” Colleen Zdrojewski, Kaitlyn’s mother, said. “The one thing that I am very proud of Kaitlyn is her ability to manage her time. So if anyone can balance all of this, she can.”
On top of her AP class load, job and soccer team, Zdrojewski has to work on four modules over the course of four months, all involving the idea of going to and surviving on Mars. Each module is then broken down into a science, technology, engineering and math section.
“I’m not a huge fan of the [modules], because they take a lot of work, but I love the videos and articles that you read,” Zdrojewski said. “There’s so many aspects that I didn’t think about before. One article was talking about astronauts drinking coffee in space. They can’t drink out of a normal coffee cup. It’s just interesting, things like that.”
While Zdrojewski focuses on the mundane of space, her mother is more grounded in prestige of what has transpired here on earth.
“I also believe it is an incredible opportunity for Kaitlyn to learn more about the field of Aerospace Engineering, which will affirm her educational path with aerospace or learn more about herself that might lead her down a different path,” Colleen said. “We are so proud of her.”
The online session of the program will end in February, and in April, the top students in the program will be chosen and granted the opportunity to visit the Johnson Space Center to get hands-on experience.
“I really get the opportunity to see what it’s like to work there,” Zdrojewski said. “I’m excited to see where this takes me.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Reaching new heights with NASA

    Features

    Draining the Competition

  • Cross Country

    Speedster Sprints For State

  • Reaching new heights with NASA

    News

    School Security Skyrockets

  • Reaching new heights with NASA

    Entertainment

    10-Minute Review: Avengers: Infinity War

  • Reaching new heights with NASA

    News

    Walkout organizers encourage students from all sides to join Friday, share views on school safety

  • Reaching new heights with NASA

    News

    FCCLA Sweeps Regionals

  • Reaching new heights with NASA

    Entertainment

    Ruckin’ It Up!

  • Reaching new heights with NASA

    News

    Alive and Kickin’

  • Reaching new heights with NASA

    Features

    Football Frenzy

  • Reaching new heights with NASA

    News

    Theater Putting on Schoolwide Performance

Navigate Right
The student news site of Celina High School
Reaching new heights with NASA