2019 has been a particularly important year for space, as we celebrated 50 years since the first human set foot on the moon in one of the most significant moments of human history and ever since then, our fascination with space exploration and the opportunities available through STEM haven’t dimmed. For Shanen, our year 13 student and resident physics mastermind, her deep interest in all things space and astronomy has cemented her decision to work towards a career in Cosmological Research.
As the ENL UTC, continuously encourages our students to explore as many exciting opportunities as possible, whilst offering them everything that they need for their chosen pathway, it seemed only fitting that we celebrated Shanen’s passion for physics with a trip to Space School at The University of Kent!
The exciting three day residential event runs every year and is perfect for inspiring the next generation of scientists. Involving hands-on astrophysics and space science workshops, it is run by academics, postgraduates and undergraduate students, and provides students with the opportunity to do some observing outside of this world.
To see how Shanen, got on at Space School, carry on reading.
Commencing take off in 3… 2… 1…
Friday 2nd August
- 1.00pm start with a welcome talk and introduction the the staff
- Separated into groups for the rest of the weekend, Shanen was part of Team Nebula, alongside of four other students
- An ice breaker activity where the groups had to create a ‘space capsule’ that would hold the egg and allow the ‘eggstronaut’ to survive a 3m drop. Team Nebulas did and was the only one that bounced!
- A talk about the Rosetta Mission from a university researcher
- A talk from a university Physics lecturer regarding the upcoming Lunar Gateway Missions
- Dinner and a quiz where Team Nebula came second
- A quick talk about the different telescopes the university uses
- From 9pm to 11.30pm the students were able to observe the night sky with the local Astronomy club, who brought in telescopes for a variety of observation sections, whilst talking about the campus Beacon Observatory
Saturday 3rd August
- 8.30am start for breakfast followed by a talk about the different activities the students could expect over the weekend
- Rocket building! Students were given a five hour period to design, build and simulate their rocket ready for take-off
- Lunch break
- Lunar geology session, equipment tour and mission proposal work
- Dinner break
- Further rocket building
- The students were unable to observe this night due to overcast weather, so instead they were able to experiment with freezing various items in liquid nitrogen
- A quiz before lights out
Sunday 4th August
- 8.30am start followed by a ‘Lunar Rover’ Lego coding activity
- Each team finished off their mission proposals and rocket
- A special 20th Space School anniversary lunch
- Official rocket launching. Each team launched their rockets but unfortunately Team Nebula’s ‘eggstronaut’ did not make it due to the lack of shock absorption
- Mission Proposal presentations
- An award ceremony that saw Team Nebula win! As a prize they each received a book called What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions. Each student also received certificates and a 20th anniversary Space School pin badge
The University of Kent Space School, is now in its twentieth year, and is an annual staple in the School of Physical Sciences’ calendar. It is the perfect experience for any young individuals with an interest in anything Space. We are so glad that Shanen, had a great time and are so proud to be part of her exciting journey into her future career.
For further details of Space School, or to find out more about how the ENL UTC can help you to access tomorrow’s career opportunities, please follow the links below.