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Students to collaborate on a space mission with NASA

Students Natalya Donohue, James Pereira, Sophia Le Ray and Cameron West
and teacher Courtney Branson work on some ideas for an experiment on the
International Space Station

THERE are few things in this world more exciting than blasting a rocket into space with your own experiment on board.

But that’s just what is about to happen for a group of students at Chisholm Catholic College, Cornubia.

The Year 10 Information Technology and Communication class signed up to take part in the Cuberider Space Program, which gives high school students the opportunity to learn valuable STEM skills by designing and coding experiments that are tested on the International Space Station.

The Cuberider program focuses on hard skills like coding and data science, soft skills like teamwork and communication and knowledge around physics and earth/space sciences.

Students learn and train for their space mission using technology designed in Australia, approved by NASA for flight to the International Space Station.

The rocket launch, with the students’ experiment on board, will also be live streamed into the classroom.

The Year 10 class has booked a 30-minute time slot in November on the International Space station for their experiments to be tested.

The data will then be transported back to the students to evaluate the final result.

College Head of Information Technology Courtney Branson said the program was specifically designed to teach students creative and critical thinking.

“They become the next generation of leaders, innovators and problem solvers,” she said.

Courtney said Chisholm was one of the first colleges in Brisbane to undertake the Cuberider project.

“It’s a great opportunity for these students to showcase their STEM skills,” she said.

“We’ll be getting live data back from the International Space Station which the students will decipher and record their findings.”

Student Cameron West said being involved with the Cuberider project was a great opportunity.

“We have to come up with our own design and build a prototype, making sure it works down here (on earth),” he said.

“Then we’ll package it up and send it off to NASA who will send it up to the space station for testing in outer space.”

Cameron said about 25 students were involved in the project and they had come up with some basic ideas that might work for the project.

“It’s great because we get to learn about the space station and space scientists and how things work in different atmospheres.

“We also learn how to do real world design problems and work through them.

“It’s all very exciting,” he said.

Brisbane Catholic Education Office

243 Gladstone Road, Dutton Park Q 4102

GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia

Phone: (07) 3033 7000

Fax: (07) 3844 5101