Best. Camp. Ever.
The largest group of Australian students ever to visit the Houston Association for Space and Science Education (HASSE) Space School in the U.S have just returned. Bringing to life all facets of space exploration, science and engineering, 138 students experienced first-hand what it’s like to join the ranks of world renowned astronauts, scientists and flight commanders through mission simulation training and problem-based learning activities.
The program is a part of iVicon's international study program, in association with HASSE and NASA, designed to empower youth to develop their critical thinking skills through experimental learning.
David Sunton, General Manager of iVicon Australia and New Zealand, said giving students the opportunity to learn practical science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education beyond the classroom is integral to the space program.
"By integrating STEM subjects as an enabler for learning, the program helps foster creativity, motivation to innovate, leadership skills, and the ability to problem solve in challenging situations," says Sunton.
Students who participated in the program were on-site at NASA where they attended inspiring lectures and tutorials from formidable former NASA astronauts, engineers and leading space physicists. Students also explored geology, learned energy production and even spent time in a cell lab investigating cellular biology.
Students also visited the U.S Space and Rocket Centre in Huntsville and engaged in astronaut training, space shuttle missions, rocket construction together with launch, teamwork and leadership training exercises.
"These types of hands-on learning experiences are essential for broadening the capabilities and mindsets of students while preparing them for the changing Australian job landscape," added Sunton.
Sunton believes all schools and educational systems should be shifting from traditional learning models and investing in the uptake of STEM subjects to improve Australia's economic growth prospects.
"Our society is continuously evolving with the emergence of new digital economies, technologies, and industries. To keep up with our global counterparts, STEM subjects should be recognised for their value to society and embedded into the curriculum as an investment into Australia’s future," says Sunton.
"It’s about providing young adults with a platform to dream big and giving them the tools to succeed, no matter what aspirations they have. That's fundamental to the development of tomorrow".