Kiama school project launching to International Space Station

SUPER KEEN: Kiama Public School year six students Jack Freaney, Max Shelley, Scarlett Hill, Laura Ellis, Sammy Fritsch, Lily Perkin, Banjo Povea-Purcell and Taz Koorey. Picture: Supplied.
SUPER KEEN: Kiama Public School year six students Jack Freaney, Max Shelley, Scarlett Hill, Laura Ellis, Sammy Fritsch, Lily Perkin, Banjo Povea-Purcell and Taz Koorey. Picture: Supplied.

Kiama Public School’s STEM students know just how lucky they are to be working with NASA astronauts.

That’s right, their circuit board will be launched into space.

A small group of year six students in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics course are working on the experiment.

“We will probably never have the chance to do this again,” Kiama student Lily Perkin said.

A school project like none other has captivated a small group of bright year six students at Kiama Public School.

The students are learning code, then programming a robot to perform various activities, and working with NASA to launch their robot into space.

Only a select group of schools have been picked to participate in the project, and this is the first time a school group outside of the Sydney metropolitan area has been chosen.

Year six students Jack Freaney, Max Shelley, Scarlett Hill, Laura Ellis, Sammy Fritsch, Lily Perkin, Banjo Povea-Purcell and Taz Koorey have been working on the project all year with STEM instructional leader Lauren Purcell.

They will be given a launch date once the circuit board is ready and has been tested by NASA engineers, who will run experiments on hot air balloons to ensure it is space-station ready.

“We’re going to come in at 3am in the morning to watch the launch live when it takes place,” Ms Purcell said.

“They’ve been working on it all year.

“Learning code is like learning a whole new language.”

The kids talked excitedly about what it means to them to be involved in such a project.

“We know we will probably never be able to do this again,” one of them said.

“It will give us a head start, most kids don’t get to do this until high school.

“It’s fun to learn code, it means we will be able to program all sorts of stuff like computer games.

“We learn mathematics in the classroom and here we get to apply it.”

The group will also be given the opportunity to talk to the astronauts once their project reaches the space station.

Their peers at school will help them create a list of questions to ask the astronauts, allowing the whole school to take part.

Kiama Public School has a proud history of fostering young tech wiz’s thanks to Ms Purcell. It also has a dedicated computer lab and internet access in every classroom.

This story Illawarra students work with NASA astronauts for space launch first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.