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The Student News Site of Lampasas High School

Badger Tracks

The Student News Site of Lampasas High School

Badger Tracks


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It IS Rocket Science

Freshman Places 2nd With Team At NASA’s Space University
NASA Johnson Space Center
Freshman Grant Gill receives a second place medal at Space University at NASA over winter break.  

He waited to get into this camp since he was 8 years old and now he is on the stage about to receive an award. All the years he waited and all the hard work he put forth for the last few days were about to pay off. 

Freshman Grant Gill and his team placed second in the competition at Space University at NASA over winter break.  

“The first activity we did was, we built a two stage model rocket,” Gill said. “We had to build the first stage which is like a little soda can with some fins on it and a little motor mount which is like a tube where the SS motor will go.” 

Other activities included scuba diving and building a robot.

 “The next day we went scuba diving,” Gill said. “It wasn’t like anything super special. We just went to a local swimming pool.”

 Astronauts have trained in pools to build up endurance. 

Freshman Grant Gill scuba dives during NASA’s Space University. (NASA Johnson Space Center)

“[Scuba diving] was really interesting because you can’t breathe through your nose,” Gill said. “You have to breathe through your mouth. It took a bit of getting used to.”

 Gill had to wear a diving vest so he wouldn’t float during the activities. 

 “It was like a full harness,” Gill said. “ [The instructor] had the clip that went around your chest area and he had one that went on your waist.”

Gill said he learned to be patient as he and his team competed in the robot building  competition. 

 “That robot kept failing and failing and failing,” Gill said. “We kind of got it to work but at the end, like, when we did the competition, it failed. But like the main thing it really taught me was how to build a robot and how to build a two stage rocket but a lot of it was patience.”

Nicky, a student from another school, was one of the team members who worked with Gill. She believes the team dynamic was “really nice.”

“Everyone was super supportive of each other in our team, and we all listened to one another’s expertise,”  she said.“I’m actually not the greatest at science, but I ended up learning a lot from my teammates.” 

Nicky lives in Canada. She attended Space University with two of her friends

“It was my first time visiting Houston, and it was pretty fun to see how Canada and the U.S. differ,” she said. “I didn’t expect the phrase ‘y’all’ to be such a big part of the lexicon!”

Nicky felt satisfied to win the second place award.

“Seeing all our work pay off in the end was really awesome,”  she said. “The added challenge of having a project budget and how that affected our placement was also very interesting.”

Nicky feels that she has a “new perspective on science” 

“Seeing all the space models and people at work at NASA and learning from both teachers and peers has taught me so much,”  she said. “It was a really cool experience and I’m very grateful to have tried it.”

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