One hundred secondary pupils are taking part in this year’s space school and will launch the rockets in Bellahouston Park as they get set to learn from some of the world’s leading figures in space travel.
The space school continues to attract huge numbers of applications from secondary schools across the country with more than 1200 students attending since it started at Strathclyde in 2004.
NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn and engineer Heather Paul will join the young people during the week and they will get the chance to work closely with academics in the University’s internationally-recognised Faculty of Engineering.
Of the 100 students who attended the Scottish Space School in 2014, 43 will begin their study at Strathclyde this year – and a further mark of success of the initiative is that almost 60 percent of the total number of space school graduates are now employed in research-based jobs. Professor Atilla Incecik, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, said: “The Scottish Space School continues to grow in popularity and it is encouraging to see so many young people inspired to enter higher education and pursue careers in engineering and technology to become leaders of industrial companies.
“The University of Strathclyde is dedicated to widening access to education and providing young people with opportunities to further their studies and we are delighted that so many of those attending the space school go on to study at Strathclyde.”
Applications arrive from every region of Scotland and the 100 selected are the top performing fifth year students in mathematics and science. Such is the success of the school, over 700 previous attendees have now graduated and secured top jobs within the science and technology industries.
During the week (June 15-29), the pupils will attend lectures, labs and workshops delivered by leading academics and researchers at the University’s Faculty of Engineering. The NASA representatives will also visit Newark Primary School in Port Glasgow, Hillpark Secondary School in Glasgow and Kilmarnock Academy.
At the conclusion of the week, 10 of the pupils will be selected to go on a Learning Journey to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in November. This life-changing experience, meeting the leading players in the space programme coupled with the skills they gain from the visit, will be invaluable in providing the students with a platform to build a career in the industry.
Strathclyde plays a prominent role in space research with the Strathclyde Space Institute addressing key challenges in space systems engineering, satellite applications and access to space. Research centres within the institute include the Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory, the Centre for Future Air-Space Transportation Technology, the Space Mechatronics Systems Technology Laboratory and the Centre for Space Science and Applications.