An East Texas high school student has earned a coveted spot in NASA's Texas High School Aerospace Scholars Program.
"Hopefully I can be an engineer for NASA one day," said Omar Solis.
Solis has dreamed of working for NASA since he was a little boy and when a door into NASA's Texas High School Aerospace Scholars Program opened, Solis jumped at the opportunity.
"Whenever I look up at the starts it just seems really cool and it will always be a dream for me to go in space one day and I know it's far-fetched but it's always been a dream," said Solis.
500 Texas high school juniors have completed the online classroom lessons but only 200 students were selected for the on-site summer experience at Johnson Space Center in Houston.
"Every 2 weeks we had different module and each module had a 500 or 1,000 word essay, math problem and a lot of reading to do, a chapter and a quiz over the chapter,"said Solis.
Solis says the program was very time consuming especially since it was in addition to all his regular school work.
"I just learned that it's a lot of creativity to do this kind of stuff,"said Solis. "It's not just math and math, you actually have to think abstract to do this. We had to make a Mars robotic design too. [Mine is] a drill that would land on Mars and drill through the surface and experiment on what each layer of sedimentary."
Omar will spend one week this summer in Houston interning with NASA and collaborating with groups of students from across the state on projects like colonizing Mars and engineering robots.
[We will] "try to figure out a plan to colonize Mars and make a colony of Mars and get a mentor from NASA to help our group to do it and it's going to be really cool," said Solis.
Solis says he will be taking a-AP courses his senior year and plans to major in aerospace engineering or mechanical engineering in college to prep for his future career with NASA.
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