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Grantleigh learner invited to NASA United Space School

Willemien Kotzé, a 17-year-old learner from Grantleigh School, trumped a rigorous selection process to become part of an elite group of learners to represent South Africa at the NASA United Space School in the USA.

The spirited 17-year-old from Mtunzini has triumphed over a rigorous selection process that evaluated her knowledge, skills, and compatibility with her team partner from another school. The assessments included in-depth assignments covering fascinating topics like orbital mechanics, space law, recent launches, engines, habit building, and the intricacies of spacesuit functionality.

Accompanied by a representative of the programme, group team will now embark on their extraordinary journey on Friday, 14 July, bound for Houston. Over the course of 15 captivating days from Sunday, 16 July, the duo will be joined by equally talented learners from 24 countries from across the world at the prestigious NASA United Space School.

Upon arrival, they will have the opportunity to share their experiences through interviews before being assigned to various teams. In preparation for this exceptional adventure, Willemien will be presented with a NASA uniform that includes a distinctive team shirt, formal long pants, and non-branded sneakers. This symbol of membership in the esteemed NASA United Space School will serve as a constant reminder of her achievements and the bright future that lies ahead.

Her incredible achievement highlights Curro’s commitment to nurturing talent that dares to reach for the stars whilst positioning itself as a global centre of excellence in education. Executive Head of Grantleigh School, Dirk van Zyl, expressed his immense pride in Willemien’s accomplishment, stating, ‘As a school, we are incredibly proud of Willemien for always seizing the opportunities that come her way and excelling in this intense selection process. We hope that this once-in-a-lifetime experience broadens her horizons and equips her to continue pursuing her dreams relentlessly. We cannot wait to witness her remarkable achievements that she will accomplish during the remainder of her time with us at Grantleigh,’ he concluded.


Grantleigh Schools, Curro School, NASA
Willemien Kotzé from Grantleigh Schools is off to NASA

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