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Sarah Bradbury takes one small step towards NASA after winning QUT Astrophysics Project internship

Sarah Bradbury

Great opportunity: Sarah Bradbury will expand her understanding of astrophysics through QUT’s high school STEM internship.

SARAH Bradbury, a Year 12 student at Mary MacKillop College, Nundah, is aiming for the stars after gaining a prestigious university internship over the Easter holidays.

Sarah was one of only 10 students in Queensland offered a place in the prestigious Queensland University of Technology)Astrophysics Project placement, part of the university’s high school STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) internship program.

The internship will be an opportunity to expand her skill sets beyond the classroom and explore future career ambitions with like-minded peers – all before university.

As an intern, students are treated like a QUT undergraduate, enjoying student campus life, accessing facilities and online resources, and undertaking practical and written assessment to prepare them for university as a new-generation STEM leader.

Sarah, whose dream was to one day work at NASA, was selected from hundreds of applications received from students state-wide.

She was told the selection process was extremely rigorous because of the high quality of applications.

Through the project placement, interns explore concepts in rocket science, space travel and exoplanet habitability to design a mission to relocate humanity to a nearby solar system and save the human race.

Using a combination of advanced astrophysics simulation software and practical experiments, interns will determine the composition of planets and stars around us, applying physics, mathematics and basic coding to guide rocket simulators into orbit and beyond.

Intern students should leave the placement understanding the critical role astrophysics research plays in investigating the stability and sustainability of planet earth in our complex and ever-changing corner of the universe.

Sarah said she was excited to have made it into the program.

She said the reason she enrolled was that she was still unsure about what she wanted to do after finishing high school.

She has a passion for physics and wanted to explore what that might mean to her future work and employment.

Sarah said she loved doing physics and was interested in aerospace engineering and, for that, she needed a background in astrophysics.

She wanted to apply to QUT as she believed this was where her future studies would occur, and she wanted to know more about the courses on offer for women in physics.

Mary MacKillop College acting deputy principal Ursula Witham-Young said the whole college community was delighted Sarah had received a place in the program.

“Sarah has been recognised for her outstanding STEM leadership potential,” she said.

“We are very proud of her achievements and would like to also thank her teacher Colleen Fairfield for encouraging Sarah to apply.”

Written by: Staff writers
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