Blue Ridge’s Hortega Lands Space Camp Scholarship

Blue Ridge Middle School eighth-grade student Izabella Hortega has been awarded a full scholarship to Space Camp in Huntsville, AL.

She worked with her seventh-grade life science teacher, Andrew McClellan, to develop a hypothesis as it applied to measuring the impact of different light forms (white, UV and infrared) on microorganisms found in water as they may apply to sanitation. She collected stream water, set up independent and dependent variables, created multiple trials, gathered and finally analyzed her data. Her summary supported UV light as the factor with the greatest sanitation impact on microorganisms in water, making it safe to consume or use. The work and analysis paid off when she learned about her scholarship win.  

The scholarship will cover tuition, room and board and $500 toward travel to attend a six-day Space Camp program this summer from Northrop Grumman Corporation. She will be spending the week participating in the Aviation Challenge at the United States Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, learning and collaborating with other students her age from around the globe. Activities include experiencing the sensation of being three times her normal weight in a one-of-a-kind centrifuge, learning about aeronautics, propulsion and aviation history, flying in a UAV drone simulator, simulating aerial combat, and embarking on a search and rescue mission to bring a downed pilot back from behind enemy lines. 

For more information about Space Camp scholarships, go to

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