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STEM Space Excursion

Have you ever wanted to walk on the surface of Mars? The PPN Rocket Crew did! And here is what happened…

As part of their Rocketry focus in STEM extension, Mr Harris, Mrs Vice and the Rocket Crew ventured out on an exhilarating excursion to Hamilton Space School, which offers a fully interactive Mars Mission simulation and bottle-rocket workshop. There was much anticipation as the students of Team 1 donned space suits with breathing apparatus, headset, boots, and gloves. Each ‘astronaut’ was assigned a role, given their mission objectives, and ushered into the air lock in readiness for Mission 1. Meanwhile, the students of Team 2 were learning the ropes in Mission Control - where each student was assigned to a computer then given a specific role and headset to communicate with their astronaut partner. Tasks included recording an analysing data, giving instructions, or monitoring weather and vital signs. “You may leave the airlock and enter the planet surface,” came a voice from Mission Control. Team 1 emerged slowly from the air lock onto an eerie Martian landscape, complete with rocky terrain and lighting effects. The astronauts went about their duties, constantly in discussion with their peers back in Mission Control. Some collected rock specimens for analysis, some explored with metal detectors and Geiger counters, while others reported changes to the weather on the planet surface. “SAND STORM! Evacuate to the airlock!” came the urgent command. All at once, Team 1 was safely inside the airlock, then back on Earth once more. Teams switched places and Mission 2 ensued. We are pleased to announce that all astronauts returned safely to Earth.

After a break, students built and launched bottle rockets, resulting in an exciting, but slightly wet end to the day. We can’t promise that all the bottle rockets survived the flights.

All in all, this excursion was a very successful mission for Mr Harris, Mrs Vice and the PPN Rocket Crew.


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