At first, Noah Stewart wasn’t too psyched about going to Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy last month at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.
“I was like, aww space camp. It sounds really nerdy. I don’t know, I play soccer and I’m the smart kid, but I don’t want to be the nerdy kid who goes to space camp,” Stewart said.
The 17-year-old Grove City High School junior applied, and won a scholarship to attend the Leadership Challenge Academy. He was one of only 227 students from 30 countries and 26 U.S. states and territories chosen for the program, which is open to kids whose parents work for Honeywell.
For one week in March, Noah and his peers from around the world tested their science, technology, engineering and math skills, and their leadership abilities. They completed mock missions in the cockpit of a fighter jet and an actual space shuttle.
“And I had to put on the whole space outfit get up, the whole space suit, helmet, and all the clothes and stuff, and my job was to go out and I had to simulate building something in space,” Stewart said.
At the end of the week, Stewart won the “Inspiration Award,” which recognized him for being a leader and helping motivate his 13-member group, Team Purpose.
“I made it my goal to make everybody feel involved, and feel like they were important to the group,” Stewart said.
Stewart returned to Earth, and Grove City, more confident in taking on a leadership role.
“It definitely opened my eyes to the opportunities that are out there, and my abilities that I do have, and the abilities that I need to work on at the same time,” he said.
Stewart plans to major in mechanical engineering after he graduates from Grove City.