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2 Sparta Students Launch Into Space at Challenge Academy

Jason Reinhard and Matthew Rotondi spent a week learning how to space walk and fly rockets in Alabama.

Jason Reinhard and Matthew Rotondi with their New Jersey counterparts at the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy. Photo Courtesy Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy
Jason Reinhard and Matthew Rotondi with their New Jersey counterparts at the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy. Photo Courtesy Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy

Most students spent the end of their winter season gearing up for spring sports, spring break and other extracurricular activities.

Two Sparta High School students prepared to fly to the moon. Seriously.

Matthew Rotondi and Jason Reinhard were two of of 304 participants from 38 countries and 33 states in America chosen to participate in the 2014 Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

A total of 10 students from New Jersey attended one of two consecutive weeklong events between Feb. 21 and March 7. All participants were between the ages of 16 and 18.

Rotondi and Reinhard took part in shuttle missions, weightlessness training, simulated jet-fighter pilot training, scenario-based space-walking missions, designing, building and testing their own rockets and meeting with top scientists, engineers and former astronauts, according to Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy. 

Students gained entry into the program through a rigorous application process and were awarded scholarships. The application process reviews each potential participant’s academic achievement and community involvement. Scholarships, funded in part by Honeywell Hometown Solutions and Honeywell employee contributions, include tuition, meals, accommodations and program materials. 

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