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From Millais and Collyer’s to NASA?

A former deputy head girl of Millais School has taken a step closer to her dream job at NASA, writes Alexandra White.

Katie Bashford, 19, will study Aerospace Engineering, Astronautics and Space Technology at Kingston University. Katie first had the idea of a career linked to space and engineering when she was 15 and a pupil in Year 10 at Millais.

She said “I had toyed with the usual career prospects – doctor, vet, teacher – when suddenly I realised I wanted to ‘do’ space. It was random at the time, but the idea soon started to really interest me. It became my goal.”

Katie said she loved her time at Millais and owed a lot to her Physics teacher, who sparked her interest in Science and Engineering. She said: “Physics, and Mr Clay, really inspired me. I was always asking questions in Physics, wanting to know why.”

After taking her GCSEs at Millais, Katie studied Maths, Physics and Science/Engineering at Collyer’s before earning her place at Kingston. In the course she has chosen, there are only 25 students – of which just a fifth are girls.

Katie added: “In a good year, there are just five girls on the course. This is a low figure compared to other sciences, but I don’t see it as negative. Employers want girls on their team and there is a real shortage of female engineers. I’m so excited and I can’t wait to start my course.”

Asked what advice she would give to someone with the same dream, Katie said: “Don’t get too stressed about it. If you are determined and curious, you will get there.”

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