Ottawa student picked for Junior Astronaut Camp this summer
OTTAWA -- It's an experience that will be almost out of this world.
This summer, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is virtually hosting their first ever Junior Astronaut Camp.
It’s an opportunity that 12- year-old Ottawa Grade 7 student Sofia Mejicano is looking forward to.
"I am so excited, I can’t wait for the activities," Mejicano tells CTV News Ottawa.
Sofia is one of 52 accomplished students from across Canada that have been chosen to participate in the Junior Astronaut Camp.
"I just want to find that thing that I can continue through that I love and want to do for the rest of my life; and I could find it in that camp," she says.
Held virtually this July, the young space enthusiasts will spend a week tackling various challenges, meeting astronauts, and operate a real rover during a simulated moon mission.
"I’ve always been curious about space," she says, while pointing to a robot she made. "That little robot is my Mars rover that I made a little while ago."
The program looks to inspire, getting kids motivated about science, technology, engineering, and math.
"I am really happy that she found something that she excels at, and at a young age; that’s a really hard thing," says Sofia’s mom, Lethania Martinez. "These types of things really get you to be interested in a different level, more than what we can do at home; so, I am really looking forward for her to experience."
The camp was originally supposed to be in-person, but organizers had to pivot.
"We’re looking to connect youth with our scientists, our engineers, our Canadian astronauts; and, we’re getting them engaged in real space topics," says Jamie Sevigny, former lead, Youth STEM Initiatives with the Canadian Space Agency.
The winners were randomly chosen from a pool of candidates, who submitted a video essay — some, who may one day make an even greater leap, says Sevigny,
"We hope that they’re going to go away from the camp with some incredible memories, and inspire them; maybe they’ll be our next space explorers."