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Gisborne Student Awarded Rocket Lab Scholarship To Pursue Stargazing Dreams

Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand – 20 February 2020: Rocket Lab has awarded Gisborne teenager Niamh Stratton with the 2019 Rocket Lab Scholarship, providing the young space enthusiast with financial support for a tertiary degree and an exclusive mentorship programme from Rocket Lab experts.

The Rocket Lab Scholarship is now in its third year and was established to encourage the pursuit of rewarding careers in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). The Scholarship covers up to $20,000 of tertiary education fees for up to four years of study and includes mentorship from Rocket Lab.

Niamh Stratton was selected as the Rocket Lab Scholarship recipient after demonstrating a clear passion, dedication, and determination to become an astrophysicist and explore deep space in the discovery of new stars and planets. Miss Stratton will begin studying a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree with a double major in Physics and Astronomy this year at the University of Canterbury.

In 2019, Niamh was Head Girl of Campion College and one of only ten secondary school students chosen from around the country to be a SWAPA (Student With A Passion for Astronomy) and attend the national Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand’s annual conference. She was also amongst a select group of high school students to attend the Otago University Advanced Schools Science Academy science camps last week.

Outside of her studies, Niamh volunteers as the Treasurer of the Gisborne Astronomical Society’s Junior division; as a Hospice Youth Ambassador, volunteer for the Gisborne Cancer Society, and as a Tairāwhiti youth environment group member coordinating community events; and offers Peer and Academic Support for younger students to improve education.

Miss Stratton says the Rocket Lab Scholarship will allow her the freedom to focus on her studies while continuing her extracurricular volunteer efforts.

“When I received the news I was shaking with excitement! I am so honoured and grateful to be granted this amazing opportunity and I’m on an absolutely high as I start my degree.

“More important to me than the financial grant is Rocket Lab’s mentorship programme as it’s such an invaluable opportunity. The knowledge, connections, and experience that will be available to me will support my career from day one, and I will always be thankful for this opportunity. Rocket Lab is a true inspiration, and a New Zealand-founded organisation helping young Kiwis like this is incredible.”

Rocket Lab Founder and Chief Executive Peter Beck says: “I’m passionate about supporting our best and brightest young STEM students like Niamh to achieve their dreams, and I’m looking forward to seeing her make her mark in the global space industry in the years to come.”

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