Lewis Brown gains leadership skills at space camp

Senior learns about business, technology


Used with permission from Honeywell

Senior Lewis Brown participates in a space learning activity March 8 during his week at the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy. The program is located at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Nicole Sanford

After attending a week-long space camp through Honeywell at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Alabama, senior Lewis Brown said the experience taught him more than just leadership skills.

“It confirmed me not to judge a book by its cover because the first day I got there I said ‘oh my God, I’m going to hate it — I don’t like anyone here, I want to go home,’ (but) by two days later, I didn’t want to leave,” Brown said.

Brown said the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy (HLCA) is sponsored by Honeywell and is available for students whose parents are Honeywell employees.

“We did STEM related things, and you basically did leadership stuff based on what Honeywell focuses on, so technology, aerospace, building and technology solutions, security,” Brown said. “So basically what your mom and dad’s doing is replicated, but into a leadership thing.”

According to Director of Honeywell Hometown Solutions Kerry Kennedy, HLCA began in 2010 and has awarded more than 2,091 scholarships to students to attend the camp.

“The program aims to engage students to become future engineers, coders, scientists and innovators and inspire them to bring their generation’s technological contributions to the world,” Kennedy said. “Students engage in innovative activities designed to develop leadership skills through technology and science-oriented workshops, lectures and team exercises to encourage students from around the world to pursue STEM-related careers.”

Brown said relating to people from around the world made his experience at the camp even more eye-opening.

“(My favorite part was) meeting all different types of people because obviously they’re for Honeywell, so they’re people just like me,” Brown said. “It’s a bunch of different people who did the same stuff that I’ve done, and then you also relate to them a lot because their life is a lot like your life. Their dad’s work is exactly what your mom’s work is and it’s just a big ball.”

According to Brown, the HCLA program is highly regarded in the business industry.

“(To) companies like General Mills and all the huge Fortune 500 companies, this is the most respected kind of young adult leadership thing that any other company does — this is up there at number one,” Brown said. “So if you have this on your resume, any of those companies recognize it and it looks really well on your resume.”

Kennedy said while attending the camp, students have the opportunity to meet people with years of experience in various scientific fields.

“During their week at the USSRC in Huntsville, students meet scientists, engineers and former astronauts who guide the students through activities and share their first-hand experiences,” Kennedy said. “Students participate in team-building challenges including designing, building and testing their own model rockets, simulated astronaut training sessions, coding challenges, shuttle missions, a moonwalk (and) science experiments.”

Kennedy said she has been given positive feedback on the program from students involved in the camp.

“Students have shared excitement in connecting with other students from around the world through STEM,” Kennedy said. “It’s a sentiment to the fun and exciting ways that STEM education is brought to life through the team-building activities.”

According to Brown, attending the program helped him figure out his post-secondary plans starting next year.

“I learned that looking into my career and my future, I know that engineering is a big pathway for me and even though I enjoy business and I’m good in DECA, I think that now instead of just going into business or sales, I want to merge these two things together,” Brown said. “I have a clear idea of what I want to do.”