“A dream come true” was one of the most common phrases mentioned by the students at St Clare’s College during their visit to NASA in Houston where they participated in the HASSE Space School. In December of 2017 five senior students, accompanied by Mrs Juliette Major (ICT Coordinator at St Clare’s) encamped at the Doubletree Hilton in Greenway Houston for Space School. The space school was not only about space and STEM, it was about empowering young people to travel independently, learn to adjust to new situations and develop leadership skills.
The school closely simulated astronaut training with projects, rocket building, heat shield and habitat construction, robotics, neutral buoyancy training with SCUBA gear and the common elements of sleep deprivation all into crammed into two weeks. Highlights included seeing a plasma rocket engine up close, building a two stage rocket and launching it and meeting amazing people. The St Clare’s students came away with two of the three prizes of the school with their team mates from Canberra Girls Grammar School.
“The HASSE Space School was interesting and fun. We had to do many challenges like building a rocket, Martian habitat and working Mars rover. It was a great experience that I would recommend to everyone. We learnt so much and made great friends with people from all over Australia. Some tasks were hard and challenged us but with hard work and little sleep we completed and presented them, and even when we thought we were going to fail we ended up winning. The experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity and something I will take with me for the rest of my life!” – Alexandra Edwards, Year 11