Lift off: Space School student Iain’s NASA bid

Iain Rolland, Hawick High School pupil who has been accepted for the Scottish Space School 2015 along with Greg Potts Iain's Physics Teacher (right).
Iain Rolland, Hawick High School pupil who has been accepted for the Scottish Space School 2015 along with Greg Potts Iain's Physics Teacher (right).
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A top student from Hawick High School has been been chosen to join an elite group of 100 youngsters at the prestigious Space School.

Fifth-year pupil Iain Rolland has been informed that his application to attend a week-long summer school at Strathclyde University has been succcessful – and now the stellar pupil is aimining even higher with hopes to secure one of 10
special spaces to visit NASA.

The Space School aims to inspire the next generation to pursue science related courses of study and consider careers in science and technology. And for Iain, who gained seven A passes in his National Five exams, it is the perfect challenge. He told the Hawick News: “I’m really excited that I got in.

“I’d been told about it by my sister’s friend as space is something I’m interested in for a possible career in engineering, so with only a week to go until the closing date, I had to submit a personal statement and reference from a teacher.”

A glowing report from the school was certainly no problem due to Iain excelling in all of his studies, of which maths and physics are his favourite subjects.

And for his physics teacher, Greg Potts, Iain’s success has brought about an interesting quirk of fate.

“I myself applied for Space School when I was a second-year pupil here at the school but I was unsuccessful, so I was really pleased to see Iain get through,” said Mr Potts.

“Iain is a pupil that certainly stands out as someone that is extremely focused and works hard, so for him personally it is a great opportunity. And, of course, it puts Hawick High School in a great light, too, and we are thrilled for him.”

The current programme comprises a week-long residential school in June with a mix of lectures, labs and workshops all on a space theme, delivered by leading academics and researchers, and supported by NASA astronauts and engineers.

And the top 10 students will be selected for a seven-day visit to the Johnson
Space Center in Houston in October.

Iain, the son of local GP Dr Doug Rolland, added: “I would love to go on the trip to NASA, so I will be working hard when I’m there.”