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Ciara Returns as Mentor for United Space School 2024

A Manx woman who attended the United Space School in Houston, Texas, in 2017 has been asked to return this summer as a mentor for the class of 2024.

It is the second year running that Ciara Sowerby will act as mentor for students from around the globe who have won places at this year’s Space School. Organised by the Foundation for International Space Education, it sees peers from around 20 countries worldwide plan a simulated crewed mission to Mars, supported by NASA astronauts, engineers and scientists.

Each year River Advisers awards scholarships to Isle of Man sixth formers to attend Space School and Ciara was a student at Ballakermeen High School when she was successful in 2017.

Ciara now lives in London, where she works as a Junior Consultant at MH&A, a management consultancy specialising in education and economic development for the UK public sector.

She said: “Going to Space School truly changed my life – it got me really into physics, which I then went on to graduate in two years ago. One thing led to another and I was invited back to mentor to Space School in 2023, and then again this year! I couldn’t have done it without the support of River Advisers, to whom I am eternally grateful.

“Space School is a wonderful initiative, where up to 50 students from around the world not only enjoy the hospitality of Texas, but also complete project work together. They learn the basics of rocket science, space communications and lots more, but also how to work across international boundaries. I am honoured to have been selected to go back twice to mentor the students, who are always incredibly bright and friendly. I am looking forward to July when I’ll get to meet the class of 2024!”

River Advisers (formerly the ManSat Group) has been awarding scholarships to the United Space School since 2000, in cooperation with the Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC).

The first scholarship winner was Dr Jennifer Stone, who is now Chief Technical Officer at River Advisers.

Dr Stone said: “We are pleased to be able to support Ciara returning as a mentor for Space School. It is a huge honour for her, of which she should feel justifiably proud. It is wonderful that she wants to give something back to Space School seven years on from her own participation, and a sign of the high regard in which she is held by the organisers.”

Please visit for more information about the Space School and to learn more about the scholarships.


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