A 12-year-old girl is gearing up to start college at Arizona State University (ASU) with dreams to one day reach the stars.
“I always dreamed of being an engineer because throughout my life I liked the building,” she added.
Her passion was born when she began building with LEGOS as a four-year-old and told her mother, Daphne McQuarter, she would one day work for the agency.
“I’m kind of a nerd for the NASA-sized Legos,” said Wicker, who finished high school this year once she aced all of her homeschool classes.
She will attend ASU this summer and major in astronomical and planetary science and chemistry.
“Study the stars in this online astronomy and planetary science degree. You will explore planets, solar systems, and galaxies to understand where we came from and where we are going using the universe as your laboratory,” the university’s website reads.
The program “provides you with broad training in the scientific foundations and fundamentals of space exploration, including ongoing advances in the field,” it continued.
If everything goes as planned, Wicker will earn her diploma by the time she turns 16.
“I’ll be driving in one of those future space mobiles by the time that I graduate college,” said Wicker, who wants to build rovers such as the one sent to Mars in 2020.
The rover’s job is to “seek signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock and regolith (broken rock and soil) for possible return to Earth,” according to NASA.
However, Wicker said she is planning everything as she goes but encouraged others to set a goal and work towards it.
“It doesn’t matter what your age or what you’re planning to do. Go for it. Dream, then accomplish it,” she concluded.