Guilford teen chosen for elite space camp that focuses on STEM learning

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Not every teen gets a NASA suit, but it’s now a permanent part of 16-year-old Dhruv Shrivastava’s wardrobe after completing a week-long program at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Hunstville, Alabama. 

“It’s a space camp that gives you an outlook on how you want to be in the future,” he said. “We did things that real astronauts experience .” 

For example, he sat in a multi-access trainer and spun 360 degrees.

“It looks like you’re going to puke when you finish it, but they say it’s too fast that your brain can’t process the pain,” he explained. 

The high school junior, who moved from India to the United States last year, also sat inside a centrifuge.

“You sit inside a box,” explained Dhruv. “It spins you very fast. You get the experience of what it feels like when a rocket launches.”

The program, courtesy of Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy, attracts students from all around the globe with an interest in STEM – science, technology, engineering and math.

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“I had roommates from England, Germany, Spain, India,” said Dhruv. “It was amazing, we were talking in different languages. It was all very fun.”

“I was impressed. It was an eye-opener of all he could do which I wasn’t aware,” said Dhruv’s dad, Alok, noting that the program is helping his son focus on a specialty in engineering. 

It also taught him leadership skills like critical thinking and problem solving.

Dhruv feels more prepared for college and beyond after tackling this far-out experience.

“It’s been a great week and I will remember it for a long time,” says Dhruv.

This year, the scholarship program, for children of Honeywell employees, will serve almost 300 teens from 41 countries.

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