Ainsleigh Visits Indigenous Space Academy

Ainsleigh (2nd from left) with Administrator Bill Nelson and other WA Academy students

Ainsleigh Passi, a Year 11 student, recently attended the launch of the National Indigenous Space Academy in Adelaide. The trip was part of the Young Indigenous Women’s STEM Academy, a 10-year program Ainsleigh was selected for in 2021.

The National Indigenous Space Academy provides up to five Indigenous university students studying STEM fields with a 10-week summer internship program at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in California. Monash University is delivering the program to diversify the space workforce and recognise Indigenous Australians as the world’s oldest astronomers.

The Australian Space Discovery Centre in Adelaide hosted the launch, where Ainsleigh had a whirlwind visit filled with amazing experiences. She witnessed the launch of the Indigenous Space Academy and watched an interview between NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and major news stations. Moreover, Ainsleigh was interviewed by various news outlets such as 9News, ABC News, Monash University, and 10News.

She also had the opportunity to meet and hear Katherine Bennell-Pegg, the first Australian female astronaut, speak, as well as many other STEM professionals in the Aerospace Engineering field, the career path Ainsleigh hopes to take. Additionally, the students toured Fleet Engineering, where they observed the progress of technology in fields such as mining engineering, aerospace engineering, and other careers.

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