5… 4… 3… 2… 1… Blast Off! The revolutionary new Space in Schools STEM Challenge has been launched in Australia by not for profit social enterprise, Re-Engineering Australia Foundation.

Space in Schools is the latest in a line-up of unique challenge-based competitions created by REA for high school students including F1inSchools STEM Challenge, Subs in Schools STEM Challenge and the 4×4 STEM Challenge.

They feature the latest technology as used by global engineering and manufacturing corporations, and are holistic by nature because a wide variety of soft skills are developed during the competition – from teamwork to project management and collaboration to public speaking.

As REA says, these skills make the students much more employable once they graduate.

With the unveiling of the Australian Space Agency this year by the Federal Government, and the need for hundreds if not thousands of technicians in our burgeoning space industry, the announcement of Space in Schools is very timely.

The competition will expose students to world-best technology including virtual reality software and 3D design. Their challenge is to design a modular Mars Biomedical Space Hub. A futuristic medical centre, operating theatre and laboratory.

“It is important to engage children in STEM subjects in a way that they can relate to, and in a way that is relevant to problem-solving in the real world”, said REA Founder & Chief Executive, Dr. Michael Myers OAM.

“Students form a virtual design company. They have to think about human habitation and brainstorm a broad range of concepts, then rationalise their best idea into a solution. They create a detailed 3D model, a 20-page technical portfolio, a trade display, and a six-minute verbal presentation, then present their idea to a panel of judges”,

“We are encouraging the students to be creative and innovative, and to become problem solvers.”

Schools will compete against other and winning teams will be taken on STEM industry site visits.