100 pupils ready for lift-off with Scottish Space School

Earth and Space

The Scottish Space School will blast off again this week for 100 aspiring engineers and scientists from schools across the country.

Pupils taking part in the one-week residential programme will meet NASA staff, including Sunita Williams, who holds the record total cumulative spacewalk time by a female astronaut.

They will also hear lectures by Dr Richard Scheuring, NASA Flight Surgeon and Joel Montalbano, Deputy Programme Manager of the International Space Station programme.

NASA astronauts

Since 2004, three out of four of all secondary schools in Scotland have had pupils take part in the Space School, which sees pupils engage in a mix of lectures, labs and workshops, all centred on a space theme.

The programme is delivered by leading academics and researchers from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, and supported by NASA astronauts and engineers.

The NASA guests join the students in selected activities and engage with them in small group and on one-to-one discussions with the explicit aim of inspiring the next generation of engineers. 

Some of the activities that the pupils will engage in include building rockets, undertaking a Mars rover challenge and learning how to clean up space debris.

At the end of the week, 10 lucky pupils are then chosen to go on a learning journey to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Professor Scott MacGregor, Vice-Principal of the University of Strathclyde said: “The Scottish Space School is an amazing opportunity for school pupils to discover more about Engineering and its applications.

“Through hands-on activities and interaction with inspirational people from NASA, the Space School really captures the imagination and demonstrates that with engineering skills, the sky is most definitely not the limit.”