May 18, 2023

Kiera’s Initial Thoughts on Australia

When I learned that I was selected to attend the International Science School in Sydney, Australia with Higher Orbits, I was absolutely thrilled. So thrilled that I have only been able to think about the upcoming trip since I found out! It is absolutely fascinating that my Higher Orbits friends and I will be traveling to a different country in less than a few months! Not only is it incredible that we will be traveling over 10,000 miles away from home, but we also now have the opportunity to attend an event which will host students from around the world. This is what I am most excited about. Although I have met many amazing people during my time living in Kentucky, I can only imagine how many new perspectives I will gain from meeting students from different countries that are my age.

I believe that this is a rare and special opportunity to create bonds that will last a lifetime with students I would never have met if not for Higher Orbits and the ISS program! I am also very curious to learn all the STEM knowledge that will be imparted to us over the multi-week duration of this event. I love learning about everything from electronics and RF to chemistry and molecules, so I already know that this whole trip will be right up my alley. I am looking forward to hearing from knowledgeable speakers and participating in hands-on demonstrations. I believe this will be a great opportunity to connect what I have learned in school to real-world applications of STEM topics!

Aside from the event, I am really hoping that I will be able to see a real koala! Out of all the native animals living in Australia, I think that koalas are the cutest! Not only are they endemic to the mainland and eastern and southern coasts, but they are rare in the sense that they are one of the sleepiest animals in the world. Koalas are known to sleep for 90% of their lives due to their plant-based diet. Hopefully during our time in Australia, I will have the chance to see a koala- maybe even in the wild! I also am looking forward to trying some new foods while we are abroad and hopefully having some moments to appreciate the scenery, as well as everything that Australia has to offer! I am ecstatic to embark on this journey with Higher Orbits and I can’t wait until our team can meet in person!

This trip serves as an excellent way to learn skills and traits that will serve me throughout my life. As I head to college this upcoming fall, this trip seems like a great way to review what I have learned during my educational career and apply it to an event where I will be in the company of top students from around the globe!

About the author

Kiera Fehr is an enthusiastic high school student who loves space, engineering, scuba diving, and cross country running. She is a two-time Higher Orbits attendee and winning team member of the 2019 Series Go For Launch! competition. Her love of creative engineering has produced multiple state and national science fair awarded projects including stress testing 3D printed wrenches in space and a novel approach to termite methane production from broccoli consumption on the International Space Station. She has competed twice in the Broadcom Masters national competition and is a member of the Society for Science and the Public. She has also earned the Future City Society of American Military Engineers Award, Central Kentucky Regional Science and Engineering Fair Air Force Award, Lexmark Engineering Award, and was selected as a finalist for the KET Young Writers national contest. She aspires to earn a degree in aerospace engineering after graduation from high school.

Kiera Fehr

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