At the Hope Street X-change, located in the city center of the University of Sunderland, a unique space camp event made waves last week among students from Year 6 and Year 12. This impactful program offered these young minds an immersive experience in the world of space exploration, providing a practical and exciting look at potential career paths within the field.
The event was made possible through a collaborative effort between Lockheed Martin, a major player in international aerospace and defence, and the National Space Academy. Their joint initiative ran for an entire week, starting from Monday, October 23rd, until Friday, October 27th.
Participants, hailing from educational institutions such as Hill View Junior Academy and St Leonard’s Catholic School in Durham, actively engaged in the construction of their own rockets and interacting with seasoned professionals from the aerospace sector. The activities they were involved in were structured around three central themes: innovation and entrepreneurship, career opportunities within the UK’s space sector, and sustainability in space.
The students were working within a predefined budget allocated for materials and fuel, their goal being was to create a compressed air rocket capable of achieving maximum travel distance. Lockheed Martin is also deepening its involvement in space-related topics through a partnership with Northumbria University, committing to an initial investment of up to £630,000 in July of last year to foster skill development, research, and technological advancement across the region.
Given the socioeconomic challenges faced by the North East of England, this space camp stood as a beacon of positivity and opportunity for the attending students. It was a chance to spark their interest in STEM fields, showing them the vast possibilities that lie in space exploration and related careers. Space camps play a crucial role in empowering the next generation, providing them with the skills, knowledge, and inspiration needed to pursue their dreams, no matter their background.
The Sunderland Space Camp was especially noteworthy, as it is one of only two such events being organized across the nation, with the other scheduled to take place in London come February. This initiative marks a significant step toward levelling the educational playing field, offering invaluable experiences to students in a region that has been historically underserved.
Lockheed Martin’s Trip Carter, speaking on the importance of these events, said they play a crucial role in sparking the curiosity and enthusiasm of future generations who might pursue careers in aerospace engineering.
“Today is all about energizing kids to go into space, not necessarily leaving our planet but working in the space industry, working for, perhaps, the UK Government in a space capacity and understanding that you don’t really have to be a rocket scientist to do rocket science,” he said. “There are so many things we not only want to do, we are committed to doing. We are committed to going back to the moon, we are committed to going to Mars. “And in order to achieve those things and have a sustainable presence on both those bodies,” he continued, “we need the best minds in science and engineering.”
SOURCE: Sunderland Ech
Featured image: A Boy Holding a Toy Spaceship Jumping on Air. Credit: Kindel Media / Pixels.com