Our STEAM tours have always been popular, but our 3-day STEAM tour has proved particularly well-received for the domestic market as it is a great way for students to gain hands-on STEAM experience in just a few days. 

In September, we were delighted to host Wairarapa Cobham Intermediate School and Nga Puna Tapuwai – Ladbrooks School on a 3-day Mission to Space Camp, as part of our exclusive partnership with the International Antarctic Centre, Christchurch. The two schools joined forces to gain the numbers necessary to run this camp, which is a fantastic illustration of local collaboration. Led by NASA-trained STEM educators, Miranda Satterthwaite and Anne-Marie Robinson, the tour offered an exciting and immersive STEAM programme in the student’s own backyard. Bursting with learning and adventure, the jam-packed itinerary featured educational workshops and team challenges such as Nano Rover construction and experiential Astronaut training.

Key Topics & activities covered included:

👩‍🚀Robotic testing

👩‍🚀 Lunch with a local astronomy expert

👩‍🚀 Zip-lining at Christchurch Adventure Park  

Day 1

The students arrived at the International Antarctic Centre and received an orientation as well as their space suits. They also challenged themselves with some ziplining at Christchurch Adventure Park as part of their astronaut training with the Antarctic Academy!

STEAM educational camp
Day 1 – Ziplining at Christchurch Adventure Park

Day 2

Day Two began with a Q&A session with an astronaut before getting ready for an adrenalin-filled adventure aboard a Hägglund! The students took part in an experiential Astronaut training, learning about space travel and designing a lunar base.

Day 2 – Astronaut training

Day 3

On their third and final day, the kids focused on the Mission to Mars and the importance of robots to navigate the rocky highly radiated environment. They built their own Nano Rovers and undertook the following mechanical tests on them:

  1. Rough crevasse slope to test the strength of the chassis
  2. Smooth icy slope to test the alignment of the chassis
  3. Test in the snowroom to test the wheels on the icy poles of Mars.
Day 3 – Mission to Mars

If the students were to join another time, they may look at programming to get the opportunity to undertake mechanical and electronic testing – as there wasn’t quite enough time to get to these aspects this time around. 

The students ended their Mission to Space Camp with  a graduation ceremony before a final farewell lunch with an astronomy expert and departure home – wow what an experience and we can’t wait to share this amazing itinerary with many more schools and colleges.

Wairarapa Cobham Intermediate School and Nga Puna Tapuwai – Ladbrooks School weren’t the first to take part in our space camp. Here’s what Tahuna Normal Intermediate School, Dunedin thought about their recent experience at the International Arctic Centre:

“I loved participating in this experience! I learnt so much about space, Mars and the Moon and really enjoyed working together with new people and expressing my interest in space. The IAC and trip overall was like a dream school! Thank you very much for letting me be a part of the amazing adventure!”

“There was not one thing I didn’t like! Even the 6 hours of sitting on a bus was a blast!”

“The space pods were sooo fancy. The shared space was so much fun whether you just wanna relax or play a game. I think it was a great idea for us to learn about living with other people and taking care of each other.”

“I have improved my skills on working together and talking to new people. I learnt a little more confidence and perseverance from the ziplines and clip and climb. Space Camp has also taught me to try to take every opportunity possible and throw myself into new things no matter the difficulty.”

See what their teacher also thought about this experience:

“The quality of delivery from such a high calibre of people was outstanding. They related to the students on such a level that challenged their known knowledge to augment that into more creative problem solving rather than being ‘fact knowers’. It was a full programme with very limited downtime which was excellent.”

A few month ago, we also organised a STEAM Tour with Selwyn House School, Christchurch, charged with the purpose of encouraging the girls to develop new skills and knowledge, as well as be openminded and take on new heights!

When reflecting on the Mission to Space Camp, Selwyn House Principal Julie Calder said it best, “We have a strong focus on STEAM learning at Selwyn House, because this powerful combination of topics develops the knowledge and skills that will be most needed in the next generation’s workforce. Our Mission to Space Camp was an extension of that programme, which aims to open our students’ minds to some of the incredible opportunities that are out there for them. We are particularly thrilled to have had some amazing female speakers from NASA and Rocket Lab, which supports our ‘if you can see it, you can be it’ approach. I have no doubt that this group of girls left camp exhausted but inspired and with a whole new world of opportunities opened up to them!”

It was fantastic to see this Mission to Space Camp gain some press coverage as well via Stuff – “Aspiring astronauts put through their paces during five-day space camp

Selwyn House School at Space Camp 2022

Leave a Comment