Students return from 'unforgettable' NASA training camp


Becoming an astronaut is no longer an unrealistic career option for 28 St Norbert College students who trained at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Advanced Space Academy in the USA last month.

An intensive five-day course at the Space Academy was the highlight of a 16-day science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) tour – the first of its kind experienced by St Norbert College students.

For the students – some of whom aspire to become astronauts one day – it was a once in a lifetime experience that they thoroughly enjoyed.

“The trip was an experience unlike any other, it was fun, and constantly had things happening, but most of all it was out of this world,” Year 12 student Jake Cummane said.

“I learnt a lot about space, such as how it is that we travel to space and survive, and also how it is that we intend to reach Mars.”

Fellow Year 12 student Jasmine Perkins said she felt privileged to be a part of the tour and was greatly impressed by what she learnt at the Space Academy.

“Prior to the trip my knowledge of science and technology in space was limited and now I feel as though I could be interested in it as a career option,” she said.

For Year 11 student Seymour Gumba, having the opportunity to experience a vast range of activities in state-of-the-art facilities made the trip “unforgettable”.

“There were so many valuable things I learnt through the camp,” she said. “We learnt a lot about space history, space medicine, rocketry, the importance of each position in a mission, the International Space Station and all the space agencies around the world.”

During the camp, the students built and launched a rocket, took part in simulated space missions, and participated in astronaut training, experiencing life without gravity both in the air and underwater.

In doing so, the students applied scientific concepts such as acceleration, gravity and Newton’s laws of motion.

Head of Mathematics at St Norbert College Bridget Murphy, who accompanied the students on the tour with two other teachers, said it was an overwhelming success.

“It was a joy for us teachers to be part of the inaugural STEM tour and to see how much the students benefited from the whole experience,” she said.

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