Cypress Falls student participates in NASA internship

July 31, 2014

Cypress Falls incoming senior Joel Kusaila displays the certificate of achievement and autographed copy of Spacewalker by astronaut Jerry L. Ross that he received at the NASA High School Aerospace Scholars (HAS) program.

July 31, 2014—Cypress Falls High School senior Joel Kusaila traveled to NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston for a one-week summer internship in June. Nominated by a state legislator, Kusaila was one of 260 students selected from Texas to participate in the High School Aerospace Scholars (HAS) program in its 15th year.

The students completed eight web-based assignments during the school year. They then applied what they had learned during the year, which challenged them to work as part of a team to design a mission to Mars.

The weeklong experience at JSC included a tour of JSC facilities and briefings by noted NASA employees. These students and teammates concluded their experience by presenting their proposal at a brunch to their parents, members of the Texas Legislature, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Rotary NASA and JSC senior management.

Kusaila’s Blue Team competed throughout the week and won the overall competition among four teams. The Blue Team received an autographed copy of the book, Spacewalker, written by astronaut Jerry L. Ross.

The state of Texas, in partnership with JSC and the Texas community, developed HAS in 1999 to encourage more students to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). More than 7,700 students from across Texas have participated in the program since its inception 15 years ago.

Kusaila joined two Cypress Creek High School students, Jacob English and Harland Ashby, in attending the HAS program this summer.

For more information about Texas Aerospace Scholars, please visit the website at

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