Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Article excerpt

Hillery Simmons, a senior at Metro High School, is in the spotlight because she wants to design lunar colonies for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

"I would love to work for NASA and do lunar architecture," Hillery says. "I envision designing buildings for use at an outer-space station."

While visiting the Johnson Space Center in Houston on a family vacation two years ago, Hillery saw plans for a lunar space station and said, "I started thinking that it would be a way for me to combine both my interests."

Hillery's goal is to attend Stanford University in California and major in aerospace engineering and architecture.

As a scholar at the Englemann Institute II at the University of Missouri at St. Louis this past summer, Hillery wrote 20 computer programs for a screening test for a computer-tutoring system that would help elementary-school students learn things such as fractions.

Her project under the direction of H. Richard Grodsky, assistant professor of electrical engineering at Washington University, was to design a way of assessing students' proficiencies and determining weaknesses.

At her school, Hillery tutors fellow students.

Hillery is an active member of her church, Christ Memorial Lutheran Church in Affton. Her father, William Simmons, is associate pastor for member care.

Among her church work, Hillery took part two summers ago in Habitat for Humanity, in which she joined other students in scraping and painting two houses in Denver. She also has worked at the Otis Woodard house in St. Louis for unwed mothers and at Doorway, a house for AIDS patients on Delmar Boulevard.

Hillery says she became interested in Metro High School, a magnet college-preparatory school, after reading a newspaper article about magnet schools.

She says she particularly likes the "enhanced curriculum and independence" of its schedule, which is patterned in a college format with some classes meeting three days a week and others meeting two days.

Hillery is editor of the school yearbook, Metropolis. She also is senior vice president and chairman of the prom committee. She is president of the Spanish club and a member of the drama and math clubs. She plays on the girls' tennis team and is ranked first in her school in singles play. …

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