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Armagh student wins place at NASA after success in space competition

Brian Doran, Principal and Chief Executive of Southern Regional College, with winner Markus Grant

An Armagh student is set to jet off to NASA this summer following his success in a prestigious space competition.

Earlier this month Southern Regional College’s Armagh Campus hosted the United Space School celebration event to acknowledge the applicants hard work and success.

The United Space School competition was established by the Foundation for International Space Education (FISE) a private foundation with the mission to provide space-based academic instruction to international pre-university students, while offering an introduction and orientation to the aerospace industry.

The program brings together up to 50 students from 25 different nations to study at the University of Clear Lake.

Under the mentorship of engineers, scientists, and leaders in the aerospace industry, they come together to design their own Mission to Mars.

The competition saw nine applicants from SRC all compete in the ‘Manned Mission to Mars Project’ to win their place at NASA.

Students were divided into teams and were presented with a specific goal and objectives.

They then had to work independently to develop and create their portion of the project while liaising as a team to successfully deliver a final presentation.

The applicants also completed an interview where their knowledge and skills were tested in front of a panel to determine who was the most suitable candidate.

Markus Grant was successfully awarded first place and will jet of to NASA in the summer months.

Markus is currently in his second year of Applied Science Level 3 Extended Diploma and is studying at SRC Armagh Campus.

Laura Simoes came second and was presented with a £100 Amazon Voucher on the day.

Laura is currently in her first year studying Chemistry, Biology and Physics studying A-Levels at Armagh Campus.

All other students were awarded a certificate of achievement and presented with goodie bags.

Pictured left to right: Back Row – Lee Campbell, Director of Finance and Planning; Brian Doran, Principal and Chief Executive of Southern Regional College; Maciej Marek Zych, former student and previous winner of the competition (Guest speaker at event); Deirdre Murray, Applied Science Lecturer at SRC; Carmel Murray, Head of Health & Science; Carolyn Davison, Assistant Director for Higher Education and Quality Improvement; Pictured with SRC applicants and winner Markus Grant (all in front row).

Brian Doran, Principal & CEO of Southern Regional College said: “I would like to congratulate all applicants and pay special tribute to our winner Markus Grant.

“I wish Markus all the best on his travels to Houston this summer and look forward to hearing all about his experiences at the space school. This is a life changing opportunity for Markus and I wish him well as he embarks on a wonderful experience with fellow students from across the globe.

“I would also like to thank Sinead O’Sullivan who is the real inspiration and driving force behind this project.

“As a past student of the College, Sinead is a fantastic role model for our students and a true ambassador for the College and Northern Ireland and I thank her for her steadfast support.”

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