Space mission shortlist

Two Wells Primary School was one of seven schools shortlisted last month to send a unique scientific experiment into space as part of the state’s School Space Mission program.

After presenting their initial design at the 68th International Astronautical Congress held in Adelaide last month, the school has been selected to now build a physical prototype of its cosmic radiation experiment and will receive industry specific professional learning and equipment through Neumann Space.

Throughout the middle of next year shortlisted teams will test and redesign their experiments, eventually putting their final product to the challenge at an Australian space testing facility. This time next year three successful entries will be selected to send their experiments into space, where high tech sensors and receptors will be used to stream data back to schools for recording analysis over a 12 month period.

TWPS principal, Lynda Fitzpatrick-Brown, said the presentation by students at the Astronautical Congress was inspiring.

“The kids were just amazing,” Mrs Fitzpatrick-Brown said.

“They proudly and confidently represented our school, and the knowledge they had about the science behind their experiment was phenomenal.

“I came back glowing and we it was just a real buzz.”

The 2016-17 State Budget included $250 million STEM works funding to refurbish and upgrade STEM facilities at 139 public schools across the state, including TWPS, with Education and Child Development Minister, Susan Close, saying these works would help provide students with new opportunities to secure the jobs of the future.

“South Australia’s space industry is rapidly growing and schools and students are crucial to the future of the state’s ability to fill the incoming demand for STEM related jobs,” Ms Close said.

“We are continuing to connect schools with industry professionals so our students can participate in the most authentic and practical learning experiences.

“The SA Schools Space Mission is extending and strengthening these links.

“The next year will be an exciting and mind opening experience for everyone involved in this project and I cannot wait to see the final results.”

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