Issue 6 - July 6, 2009 enews homee

NT Space School staff and students celebrate the completion of the four-day program

NT Space School blasts off in Darwin

By Row Booker

The Charles Darwin University sponsored NT Space School (NTSS) has just blasted off for the second year running, this time at its new home, the Darwin Airport Inn.

The residential school provides young people, in school years 10 and 11, with the opportunity to pursue their interests in space science, technology and engineering.

Held over four days, this year’s program included astronomy demonstrations at CDU’s Casuarina campus, a trip to the Royal Australian Air Force control tower, a crash-course in night vision technologies courtesy of the Australian Army, and lessons in rocket making and physics, as well as computer-simulated challenges.

Founder and President of the NT Space School is Mayor of Palmerston, Robert Macleod. He said the school was designed to inspire the Territory’s young potential scientists and engineers and encourage them to interact with like-minded people.

“We want to take their passion and their enthusiasm to a whole new level by engaging them in space science, engineering and technological projects that will inspire them into a career within these fields,” Mr Macleod said.

And according to Vice-President of the NTSS, CDU Palmerston campus administrator Aretha Amos, they’ve certainly managed to do that.

She said that many of this year’s 16 students had expressed an interest in going on to apply to the Young Astronauts Space Schools Australia (YASSA) which sponsors a trip to a space centre in Houston, USA later this year.

“One of the students from our inaugural space school in 2008, Kirby Chin, was sponsored to go to the US through last year’s YASSA program and we got him back this year to talk about his experiences,” Ms Amos said.

“He gave a presentation about his time in the US and inspired a number of students to apply for this year’s YASSA program. Hopefully, we’ve managed to inspire a few future astronauts and space scientists,” she said.