Four Polish high school students and an educator were named last week as the Astronaut Al Worden Endeavour Scholarship’s “Mission Team #14,” the European nation’s first winners of an all-expenses paid week-long, hands-on astronaut training experience this July at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s Space Camp in Huntsville, AL.
The announcement came at the end of a day-long competition held Monday, January 15, at the landmark Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw. Competing for the top honors were 20 finalists selected from nearly 200 applicants. A record 2,000 applications were downloaded after the program call for entries was announced last September following MSPO, the annual Polish defense and security expo.
The finals were hosted by the Polish Space Agency (POLSA) and Targi Kielce, Poland’s leading trade event organizer, in partnership with Kallman Worldwide, organizer of the U.S. national presence at the world’s most important trade events, including MSPO, and founder of the Endeavour Scholarship. The program honors its namesake Al Worden, Command Module Pilot of the Apollo15 spacecraft “Endeavour,” whose lifelong commitment to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education included serving as Kallman’s STEM ambassador at trade shows around the world from 2015 until his death in 2020.
The announcement of the Polish Team coincided with the 52nd anniversary of Worden’s first visit to Poland during the Apollo 15 crew’s triumphant world tour following its successful mission in 1971. Worden and Tom Kallman, President & CEO of Kallman Worldwide, returned to Poland to present a Polish flag flown to the moon to President Andrzej Duda during MSPO 2019.
The four student members of Endeavour Mission Team #14 Poland are: Tobiasz Dabrowski, Zuzanna Kassner, Benjamin Kopiec, and Aleksandra Skrocka. The educator named to the crew is Anna Bukiewicz-Szul. They join the roster of 48 students and 12 educators from eight countries who have added “Endeavour Scholarship Winner” to their resumes.
“The national enthusiasm for Endeavour in Poland is deeply gratifying and exemplifies the spirit of partnership that fuels this program,” said Kallman. “Every country we work in — and we’ve worked in at least 50 of them since our company was founded in 1963 — is facing the same challenges to prepare its young people for the future. Many also see that future in space. As an extension of our work advancing global trade in exhibition halls around the world, and with the support of global partners in government, industry, the military, and academia, the Endeavour Scholarship connects with worldwide interest in space to promote STEM careers on Earth.”
In presenting the awards at the Copernicus Science Centre, officials noted, Endeavour honors Poland’s history and culture of discovery, and celebrates its continuing leadership in STEM education and innovation.
“As champions for the STEM-driven economy on Earth and beyond, we are proud to present the Endeavour Scholarship in the name of our friend, astronaut Al Worden, to launch the crew of Mission Team #14 as ambassadors of our country’s future workforce,” said Targi Kielce President, Dr. Andrzej Mochoń. “They are going to Space Camp, and we will all benefit from what they learn and experience there.”
About the Endeavour Scholarship
Endeavour Scholarship winners receive an all-expenses paid week-long, hands-on astronaut training experience at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s Space Camp in Huntsville, AL, and return to their home communities excited to share their experiences and empowered to reach for the stars. If that’s the kind of impact you’re looking to have on the future, join our mission. Managed by the Kallman Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Endeavour is funded entirely through the generosity of organizations and individuals who share our passion for inspiring young people to work across national borders in a purposeful spirit of global partnership.