Fifteen-Year-Old Minneapolis H.S. Sophomore Credits Public School STEM Education For Inspiration
High school sophomore and self-proclaimed "Astronaut-in-Training" Abigail Harrison will be the only American teenager in attendance at the legendary Russian Soyuz launch, Soyuz-TMA-09M, in Kazakhstan on May 28, 2013. As a special VIP guest of her mentor, Italian Astronaut Luca Parmitano, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Harrison is a pinnacle moment of her STEM education through her urban public school, which has led her to her ultimate dream of being the first person to land on Mars.
Harrison's goal for this upcoming adventure is to share her experience with young, budding scientists throughout the country and bring the STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) model to the forefront of the education conversation. For Harrison, STEM education has been life-changing. Inspired by her teachers and their love of science, Harrison has created opportunities for herself to witness several Space Shuttle launches in person, built relationships with NASA, the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency and the Russian Federal Space Agency, and has had the privilege and honor to meet and have received guidance from several astronauts, scientists and engineers from around the world.
"Attending the Russian Soyuz launch is truly a dream come true and it gets me that much closer to my life's goal of landing on Mars in 2030," said Harrison. "I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity and am determined to share my experience to inspire and educate kids everywhere, showing them how much fun science can be."