The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) selected incoming Southside High School senior Neco Jimenez, 17, for its prestigious High School Aerospace Scholars summer camp. The NASA application is very challenging and complex. To be selected is an enormous honor.
“I was honestly not expecting it. When I received the email, I was so amazed I couldn’t believe it. I actually had to read it five times to make sure I was reading it correctly,” Jimenez said.
Southside ISD Science Coordinator Dr. Samuel Ebong said only the nation’s top students are invited to be in the NASA Summer Camp. To make it in places students in the big leagues. “This is a high level, a high expectation, and a high reward situation,” Dr. Ebong said.
The Southside High School student spent his entire junior year preparing for the test and working on completing NASA assignments. He had to integrate all the science and math information he had learned and complete modules by performing advanced mathematics while integrating physics and chemistry.
“What Neco accomplished this year is often lacking in undergraduate demands. It takes a different level of dedication that will serve him in the future,” added Dr. Ebong.
During the weeklong summer camp in late July, Jimenez collaborated with other high school scholars while working under the guidance of NASA engineers and scientists.
Dr. Ebong also credits Southside High School math/science teacher Ms. Sadie Emery who inspired and volunteered as Jimenez’s school mentor and worked with him at the end of each school day.
The NASA summer camp is not at all easy, however, Dr. Ebong says that should never deter anyone from pursuing their dreams.
“If you really want something and are willing to work hard, you can achieve it,” he said.
Jimenez plans on majoring in astrophysics in college. It’s been his childhood dream and he encourages students to find a subject that interests them and pursue it.
“Science is a passion that has no end. There’s only the beginning and the rest is for us to explore. Science is a fun subject to study and learn something new every day,” said Jimenez.