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Last week the Year Ten Science class which has been working on the Moon Camp Steam Project visited the University of Adelaide and the Andy Thomas Centre for Space Resources to explore the various contingencies of creating a Space Exploration Base on the Moon. This was a hands-on day with students participating in three workshops with academics as well as a tour of the Space Resources Simulation Laboratory.

The first workshop involved using their coding and problem-solving skills to design and construct a ramp to enable a robot to emulate a rover vehicle to enter and exit a simulated “crater” to recover resources. Students utilised block coding to program the robot as well as their problem solving and design skills to enable the robot to smoothly enter and exit the crater. The second session was the creation of “rockets” using just a skewer, matches and tin foil! You would be surprised how far those “rockets” could travel! After lunch in the Student Hub, we had a tour of the campus, including the Andy Thomas Centre for Space Resources where we learnt about the research the University is conducting using a simulated form of regolith, a toxic space dust, which can only be used in a sealed glass room. Our final session was the design and creation of an area for a space colony, allowing for both the physical safety and emotional wellbeing of the inhabitants, taking into account seeing the earth from their dwellings as well as food sources.

Overall, the day provided a great opportunity for students to learn more about how sustaining life in space could look, as well as the many careers that future space exploration could entail such as Space Law, Space Medicine as well as Engineering. Many thanks to the University of Adelaide’s Outreach program for facilitating the program and hosting us.

Fiona Dimopoulos
Teacher of Mathematics

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