Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Day 5 - Final Day

As expected today was a little more subdued than the previous days, with people being a little quieter knowing that this was to be our last full day.

Placed into groups we were given a whole host of materials to make a parachute for a weighted pyramid. As our previous egg-stranaut did not make it, we were determined to make a safe trip. The activity was being marked on how long it took for the pyramid to land and the weight had to be under 100gs. We came in second. It was a great design and aptly named the lemon jelly, as it resembled a jelly fish, but some else just beat us, using a larger parachute!

Our second activity of the day was to put us in the place of scientists who were helping to create a safe community in space. Sadly the water has been contaminated!  So we were given lots of different materials with the task of ensuring that there was clean water to drink.  We were given very green water, filled with hair and other bits of nasty’s! We thought we had a great idea, but it was not going as well as we hoped, so we modified it. This really did not work out as planned! The water rose in connectivity and greatly lowered in it's PH levels. Not to mention that it came out grey. We were a long way of winning this one!

We then listened to a talk, about industry-leading technology to support production design, engineering and STEM education. This was more aimed at High School students but could be used for upper primary activities, especially useful to encourage students into engineering. The free software basically turned a 2D drawing into an interactive 3D model, allowing students to clearly see their designs.

Dan Oates then provided us with some insight to some of the special programs that Space Camp delivers to ALL children. Dan ensures that the SPACE CAMP and AVIATION CHALLENGE programs are specifically designed for special needs students, including camps for blind, and/or visually-impaired, deaf and/or hard-of-hearing, and a week at the end of summer designated for special needs youth. He had lots of stories to share about his voluntary experiences over the past 20 years working with these special needs students. Most of these children have hurdles to face every day, but the hurdles they face at Space Camp ensure that their self-confidence and self-ability levels go through the roof. When a blind child is about to jump off the edge of the high wall, he just jumps - no fear, as he cannot see how high he is. This gives him an advantage to those students who can see exactly how high it is. It is not often that they children have the advantage over the other children. Space Camp ensures that modifications are made to include all children. This was very inspirational, demonstrating how inclusion should be work.

In connection with the first activity of the day, our task was to drop a Lunar Rover onto Mars. This meant that we had to design a safe container that would drop from a first floor level without killing the egg-stranaut inside. Our design was quick and cheap. We dropped our Lander into the hoop, but it bounced slightly out - 8 points were deducted as it landed 8cm away from the hoop/crater. Then we released the Rover down the ramp with the egg-stranaut safe inside. You scored points on the distance the Rover traveled. Our Rover went the further! Then we had to check that the Egg-stranaut was unharmed, with not even a crack - we scored the highest points and finally won our first activity challenge! Whoo too!

Our final activity - was to make a robotic arm in case our space shuttle required repairs. Using the materials provided we made an arm out of card that could move in both directions by pulling on the strings. Our design worked brilliantly and successfully completed the task.

It was now time to Graduate. We each received our wings and our upside down name badge was taken off and placed the correct way up. It was at this point, on behalf of all the Aussies and the other Educators I took the opportunity in thanking Space Camp for their wonderful hospitality and most importantly for all the experiences that they had provided. Our Team Leader had often said that, "Once at Space Camp nothing will be the same again". She is not wrong. Jennifer provided us with the enthusiasm to keep on going, no matter how tired we were. I am proud to say that I have learnt so much...and I am eager to share these experiences.

Our finished parachute - the Lemon jelly!
With Team Mates - Jessica,  Jacqueline and Mark.
Explaining how our Water Filter was not a good system.
Thank you Ryan for your wonderful explanation.
With my new American Buddy - Jacqueline.
Mark, Corie, Jacqueline, Jennifer, Vicky, Me, Jessica and Ryan.
What a team we made! This was part of Team Columbus!

In my spacesuit weightless - it was not easy at all!

Completing this task was a lot harder than you think!
The view from the screen of the cockpit of the Orion Shuttle simulator.
My role was that of Mission Specialist, hitching a ride with Rastus before our moon walk!
Mallisa was Commander who landed the shuttle safely, and Ryan was the pilot.

Making the parachute with team mates Jess and Mark, Whilst Jacqueline
kindly took the photo!

Our Team designed this badge. Each badge tells a story.

Can you see some of the things that our group thought 
was important to include as part of our story?

List the items that you can see, and explain why you think they were included.

The Aussie's at Space Camp
Jessica, Amy, Bianca, Me,
 Mark, Tony and Mark.

Tomorrow I say Goodbye to Space Camp - but I will take away a lot more than I brought with me.

Thank you to the University of the Sunshine Coast for the Scholarship that made all this possible.
Also I would like to thank the schools that participated;

Kawana Waters State College
Meridan State School
Our Lady of the Rosary
Talara Primary College
Unity College

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