NASA aspirations for learner with 7 distinctions

Rohan Cloete from Curro Somerset West has long aspired to work for NASA, and now with his journey starting at UCT in 2022, where he will study Astro Physics, he may well be on the right path. To earn a place in the 3-year course, Rohan’s exam results needed to be stellar, and that they were: he received 7 distinctions in his final matric exams.

Rohan’s subject choices were English home language, Afrikaans, Life Orientation, Core Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Accounting. Interestingly, his favourite among them was Life Orientation. This as he enjoyed gaining insight into human nature and debating controversial topics in class.

Rohan’s road to his success was not always an easy one thanks to the challenging circumstances presented by the Covid-19 pandemic which required a lot of home schooling. But he took it in his stride and instead turned the alone time into an advantage, “I did a lot of additional learning on a topic, and consulted with further resources when needed. I came to enjoy the self-study as I am a person who likes doing things behind the scenes, in fact through remote learning I could put a lot more time into my studies than if I was at school.”

All of this self-discipline will serve Rohan well as he heads off towards his tertiary education. On achieving his degree in 2024, he has aspirations to head to America and venture on a path towards NASA. “This started as a joke, that I would go to NASA, but now through my studies that looks at the fundamentals of the universe and the trajectory of asteroids, among other things, I am on the right track,” he says.

Rohan, who started his schooling at Curro Somerset West in Grade 8 was a Ruta Setchbaba beneficiary, Curro’s scholarship programme.

“Rohan has been a pleasure to have as a learner at our school. He is a highly talented but humble student, who has a very clear idea of what he wants and how to get it. His performance in the final exams was excellent, but this does not surprise me; he is diligent and focused and gets things done. We wish him well on his journey towards becoming an Astro Physicist,” says Graeme Waite, Curro Somerset West’s Executive Head.