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Smithtown Student Participates in Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy

Scholarship program promotes STEM education, leadership skills at U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

Olivia Winkeler at the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy. Credit Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy.
Olivia Winkeler at the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy. Credit Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy.

Olivia Winkeler, a Nissequogue resident who attends Smithtown High School East, was one 304 students from 38 countries and 33 U.S. states and territories to attend the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy, or HLCA, this year.  

The leadership program ran two consecutive week-long programs from February 21 to March 7 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

HLCA teaches interactive technology, science-oriented workshops and team exercises to teach children of Honeywell employees between the ages of 16-18 leadership skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Organizers say they make a point of creating activities that are fun and innovative to bring STEM studies to life. The program is designed to build students’ leadership skills and develop their capacities through hands on challenges.

During the program, the students met scientists, engineers and former astronauts who reinforced core leadership competencies and share their first-hand professional experiences.Challenges included designing, building and testing rockets; participating in simulated astronaut training, shuttle missions and a moonwalk; and conducting DNA extraction experiments on fruit.

“Our goal is to continue to develop a new generation of leaders, engineers, and scientists who can address the challenges of tomorrow,” said Tom Buckmaster, president, Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company’s global corporate citizenship initiative, in a statement.  

He added “Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy is a holistic program that uses a variety of teaching methods to open students’ minds to the many possibilities for rewarding careers.”

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