Ian Fernandes, a student at Wagner High School (T-STEM Academy), was one of 270 students that participated in a special NASA Johnson Space Center program in Houston. NASA organized a High School Aerospace Scholars (HAS) STEM program that focused on Mars exploration. After a tough admission process to the program, the final 270 were selected and that's when Ian's great experience started. During the week-long on-site program, students used their knowledge from the online course and their preliminary research to complete several projects. Ian's team, which concentrated on the theme of Living on Mars, designed and built a greenhouse and a laboratory with several subsystems and built a remote control rover prototype.
Ian had the opportunity to interact with NASA engineers and tour the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (where astronauts train), Mission Control Center, and the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility. What an experience!