Walking on the moon and manning mission control tested Loreto College students – right in the heart of NASA.
(min cost $8)
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Twenty-eight Loreto students were put through simulated scenarios in a NASA space camp at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, Washington and Alabama as part of a September holiday trip to the United States.
The NASA space camp also involved active astronaut and mission training, and specialist training.
Year nine student Macaylah Johnson said the camp was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“Going to space camp gave us all an insight on how much we don’t know and how much there is to learn about what’s out there,” she said. “We did simulated missions, where some of us worked in mission control, some of us were walking on the moon and fixing telescopes and things like that. We also did experiments like building heatproof tiles and making rockets and getting to launch them.”
It was a visit from Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke, who was the tenth man to walk on the moon, that first sparked the idea for the trip, with his talk generating an interest in the idea of space.
Head of science Natalie Howard said the trip was about promoting STEM subjects, which are science, technology, engineering and maths.
“We’re trying to encourage them to keep what we call the prime sciences, so chemistry, physics and the harder maths because that is what girls often opt out of even though those subjects provide a lot of career opportunities,” Ms Howard said.
“A lot of the girls realised that some of this stuff was really hard but that’s okay,” she said. “(They heard) that if you are trying to push boundaries you are going to fail more than you succeed but the fact that you keep going is really important.”
Loreto College plans to continue the overseas space camp trip for year nine and 10 students biennially.
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