Honeywell, a company that invents and manufactures technologies that address some of the world’s most critical challenges around energy, safety, security, productivity and global urbanization, has invited 325 students to an immersive, STEM-focused Leadership Challenge Academy Experience at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

The 325 students from 35 countries and 25 U.S. states and territories will attend the annual Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) in Huntsville, Ala. The two week-long programs – February 24 through March 9, 2018 – will give students the opportunity to build leadership skills by tackling real-world challenges in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

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“We welcome this annual opportunity to partner with Honeywell and host its global community of future leaders,” said Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO and executive director, USSRC. “Through this immersive program, students will learn teamwork, communication and problem-solving skills, and get a glimpse of the possibilities for their lives and careers in the 21st century.”

The World Economic Forum projects 65 percent of students entering primary school today will ultimately work in new technologically advanced job types that don’t yet exist. Honeywell’s goal is to inspire and prepare young people for the rapidly changing jobs of tomorrow.

At the Academy, students between the ages of 16-18 participate in hands-on, team-based activities such as building, coding and testing rockets, simulated astronaut training, shuttle missions and a moonwalk, all designed to emphasize STEM education in an ever-changing, connected world.

“Space Camp went far beyond my expectations last year,” Cecilia Reyes Esparza, a student and 2017 alumni from Mexico. “My favorite activities were the team building projects, like the shuttle mission simulation and the aviation challenge. The amount of teamwork needed to complete those missions successfully was eye-opening, and getting to try real astronaut and pilot training simulations was an experience that I’ll never forget.”  

“After participating in the Academy last year, I’m now confident that I want to pursue a career in science,” said Cassandra Corraya, a student from Minnesota, Minn., ambassador at this year’s Academy and alumni of the program. “The Academy not only gave me the opportunity to learn more about coding and space, it also helped me meet new friends from around the world. I’m excited to be an ambassador this year to help share this amazing experience for other students like me.”

“Honeywell is an industry leader at blending physical products with software solutions to make the world smarter, safer and more sustainable. We want to develop the next generation of technology leaders and innovators, so it is critical for us to help facilitate student interest in STEM-based fields,” said Mike Bennett, president, Honeywell Hometown Solutions. “Through our unique partnership with USSRC, we are taking a non-traditional approach to learning by getting students excited about STEM and how it relates to their future careers.”

Since its launch in 2010, Honeywell, in partnership with the USSRC, has awarded 2,091 scholarships to students of Honeywell employees to attend the Academy. Scholarships are granted after a rigorous application and review process based on academic achievement and community involvement. Financial contributions from Honeywell and its employees fund the scholarships, which cover the cost of tuition, meals, accommodations and program materials.

For more information about the Academy and the students attending, please contact Cecilia Tejeda(Honeywell) or Pat Ammons (USSRC) 

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