I took part in Space School in 2021, which meant that the programme took place entirely online. At the start of the week, lecturers and students at Strathclyde University ran us through the many courses and opportunities available at the university, giving you a real insight into what university life could mean for you. As part of the week-long experience, we were put into groups of 10/11 people to design a product to improve the lives of astronauts on board the international space station.
Our group was led through the week by a masters student of engineering who was highly passionate about the programme and even took part at our age. Because of this, they knew what the judges were looking for and even took time out of their day to discuss study options with us at Strathclyde University as well as engineering in general.
The small groups allowed me to make close friendships with people my age who I wouldn’t have met otherwise and meant I had people to talk with about options for life after leaving school, whether that’s university or something else entirely.
During the week, the engineering curriculum leaders guided us through mini targets and goals to achieve each day to keep us on track and let us know what next steps to take. Throughout our time at space school, we watched live presentations from NASA engineers, astronauts, and biomedical scientists to who we were then able to ask questions, allowing us to fine-tune our product designs.
At the end of the week, each group had to present their design to a panel of astronauts, engineers and university lecturers, who then decided on the winning teams. My team ended up placing first and second in two individual aspects of the competition, and it’s an experience I’ll never forget. Not only is it an incredible time, but it’s also a great thing to put on any job or university applications as only 100 places are handed out across Scotland.
You can find out more about Strathclyde University Space School here or by asking your Physics teacher!