In an Australian-first, the International Space Station has begun preparations to host three STEM experiments created by South Australian public school students.

The SA Schools Space Mission will use high-tech sensors and receptors to stream data back to South Australian schools for recording and analysis over a 12 month period.

The size of the SA Schools Space Mission will be a combined one kilogram and fit into a four litre compartment.

Every public school in South Australia will have the opportunity to submit an experiment via an Expression of Interest followed by an evaluation and feedback process. Professional industry expertise will be available to assist students and teachers prepare their submissions and designs.

Schools may also form partnerships with other schools to submit entries which will be adjudicated by a panel of experts.

Six presentations will then be shortlisted before the three successful entries are selected.

With the assistance of Investment Attraction South Australia, Neumann Space recently relocated to Adelaide from Sydney, encouraged by the State’s cutting-edge advanced manufacturing capabilities, along with its military aerospace and defence strengths.

Adelaide is rapidly growing its space innovation ecosystem and Investment Attraction South Australia has worked closely with Neumann Space to facilitate introductions and partnerships with key local stakeholders.

Background

The State Government will provide $80,000 to cover the cost of the project which includes $50,000 for transportation of the science experiments and $30,000 towards associated student learning improvement.

All applicants will submit multimedia presentations to be showcased at the 68th International Astronautical Congress to be held in Adelaide from September 25-29.

Set to attract around 4000 international and local delegates, the congress will include the world’s leading space agencies, making it one of the largest conferences ever held in the city and set to inject around $20 million into the local economy.

Quotes attributable to Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close

This is the first time experiments will have been conducted for a year outside the ISS. It is a truly unique and exciting challenge which will engage our students and teachers.

Creating partnerships with industry, such as Neumann Space, helps ensure the continuing success and advancement of our students through STEM.

Our public education system strives to ensure graduates have the technical skills they will need to take advantage of emerging, STEM-related employment opportunities in our state.

International assessment data shows we need to do more to engage students in STEM education to foster sustained improvement and excellence in our students in mathematics, science and problem solving.

The State Government remains committed to providing opportunities that offer cutting edge STEM teaching and learning.

Quotes attributable to DECD’s Advanced Technology Project Manager Dr Sarah Baker

This is such a fantastic and rare opportunity for South Australian school students to become involved in a ground-breaking project, it really is very exciting.

There is a big focus on Mars at the moment and plenty of thought is going into how and if the planet could be terra formed so it will become habitable for humans.

Not all suggestions are complex, something as simple as establishing lichen on Mars, which when growing would release oxygen into the atmosphere, is something that is already being investigated.