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Local schools selected to launch their prototypes into space

Seven South Australian school teams have been shortlisted and selected to build and send experiments into space as part of the SA Schools Space Mission.

Following the theme Innovation for a better future, the teams presented their initial designs at the recent 68th International Astronautical Congress.

From analysing magnetospheres using mobile phones to growing mushrooms in space, the experiments are a credit to the collaborative and creative approaches students and teachers are using within STEM learning. 

The shortlisted teams will now receive industry specific professional learning and equipment through Neumann Space so they can begin to build the first physical prototypes. 

Throughout the middle of next year the teams will test and redesign their experiments, eventually putting their final product to the challenge at an Australian space testing facility. 

At the start of term four 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.  

SA Schools Space Mission shortlist:

  • Australian Science and Mathematics School
  • The Heights School
  • Le Fevre High School
  • Mawson Lakes School
  • Norwood Morialta High School
  • The Pines School
  • Two Wells Primary School.

The Department for Education and Child Development's Advanced Technology Project Manager, Dr Sarah Baker said it’s exciting that SA schools get to participate in this Australian-first opportunity to send physical experiments into space.

“It will be interesting to see the analysis that comes out of the recorded data, which will be available for all schools to access,” said Dr Barker.

“All of the teams who entered an experiment were exceptional and proved their ability to examine a challenge and execute a solution using all the essential skills required in STEM learning such as collaborative problem solving and critical and creative thinking.”

The 2016-17 State Budget included $250 million STEM Works funding to refurbish and upgrade STEM facilities at 139 public schools across metropolitan and regional South Australia, providing students with new opportunities to secure the jobs of the future.

Image Caption: The SA Schools Space Mission is extending and strengthening the links between schools and industry professionals.

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