May 2015: Student’s space trip to America

AN OUT of this world trip awaits Nathaniel Stanton after he secured a place at the United Space School in Houston, Texas.

Nathanial, who is in Year 13 at Haslingden High School, will be joining the school’s Head of Media Studies, Ben Farnworth, who is also the space school’s headteacher.

“One of my friend’s saw an article about Mr Farnworth being headteacher of the space school and suggested it might be of interest,” said Nathaniel, 17.

“Mr Farnworth said he was looking for someone from the school to go and I applied.

“I had to write an 800 word essay about why I wanted to go to the school. After that I was shortlisted and had a 45 minute Skype interview with the leaders. I was a bit nervous – it is not every day you get interviewed by a space agency.

“It was more about getting to know who I was and my character. Then I got an email saying, ‘Congratulations’ and I was delighted.”

Nathaniel is now hoping to raise money to offset some of the £1,600 tuition and flights cost. Accommodation is provided by host families.

He is a waiter at Holden Antiques Wood Tea Rooms in Haslingden where he is working extra shifts and  trying to get sponsorship from local businesses, in return will advertise logos on his clothing.

Thanks to social media site Facebook, Nathaniel has already ‘met’ the other students attending the school.

He said: “It is going to be a unique experience and something not many people get to do.

“I am a big Trekkie and I have always loved the idea that there are things out there that we don’t know.

“We will be working in groups and assigning various tasks, planning a theoretical manned mission to Mars.

“I am looking forward to seeing how different people approach the same problem. This is a once in a lifetime experience.”

The Space School offers places to around 30 students from all over the world and so as well as science it is a cultural exchange.

All participants have to bring a performance that reflects where they are from and cook some traditional food – Nathaniel is planning corned beef hash.

When he returns he will continue his studies at Sheffield University where he has been accepted onto an aeronautical engineering course.