Could NASA launch our girls’ future STEM careers?

Article by Teva Smith
Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia / 02 July 2019

A life-changing journey to NASA promises to inspire the ultimate STEM career for almost 100 junior students from 16 schools in NSW and New Zealand when they journey to world-renowned CASE Space School in the USA during the school holidays.

Students are looking forward to finding out about STEM careers and the science involved in the space industry, as well as meeting like-minded girls from other schools.

As part of an Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia expedition in partnership with Actura, the two-week program, dubbed ‘youth astronaut training’ inspires skill development simply not possible in a school environment.

The students create strong teams as they work together on simulated missions, test spacesuits in low gravity environments, build rockets, delve into marine biology and robotics and explore personal growth skills.

The trip was the ultimate immersive experience for students interested in STEM, where girls will experience first-hand how science, technology, engineering and maths can be applied in a creative and exciting professional setting, an ideal way to inspire them into STEM careers.

Alliance of Girls’ Schools Executive Officer Loren Bridge said that inspirational experiences like Space Camp help to equip students for the rapidly changing workplace and other challenges of the future.

‘In a world of continuing technological advancement and innovation, science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) are critical for Australia’s future. Yet women are still hugely underrepresented in STEM fields

‘Girls’ schools are working hard to change that. By providing learning environments and opportunities free from gender stereotyping, research shows that girls are up to 85% more likely to pursue STEM subjects.

‘We hope an experience like this ignites a fire within these young women to go out start changing the STEM gender statistics,’ she said.

Some of the trip highlights:

  • Tour the Johnson Space Centre – NASA’s leading facility
  • Mission training – limited gravity trainer
  • Teamwork to solve simulated missions
    • Construct and launch a rocket
  • CSI style forensics course
  • Marine Biology course
  • Space suits, living in space and the shuttle program
  • Meet a NASA astronaut

The Senior Space Camp trip will take place in December 2019 with over 200 students from girls’ schools across Australia and New Zealand set to participate.