Space in Schools

SPACE in Schools

This STEM challenge aims at engaging students with an inspirational project: the colonisation of Mars. Students are required to bring together what they learn in the classroom and combine it with a range of soft skills such as teamwork, communication and INNOVATION.

ATTENTION:  Due to COVID impacting REA resourcing, there will be NO external competition for this STEM challenge in 2021. This will be reviewed at the end of 2021 for the 2022 season.

Schools are welcome to use REA resources to deliver the project in their school but MUST submit a School Registration (no charge) if doing so.

Taking students into the world of Virtual Reality

The students’ task is to form a virtual design company which will make a bid for the design of the Bio-Medical Space Hub. They will have to build a 3D model of the Space Hub and then present their design ideas to a team of industry judges.

The challenge is an exciting and fun learning environment for students. Students are encouraged to go beyond the minimum, be creative and innovative to explore different design options. Some of the problems students will face when designing the Bio-Medical Hub may combine the challenges faced by engineers when building a full-scale hospital with those required when designing small operational spaces on the Future Submarine project.

The program will expose students to 3D design software and deliver challenges that will provide opportunities for creativity.

The problem will introduce students to virtual reality software, help students develop problem-solving skills and will promote working and contributing to a team environment.

This competition will allow schools to participate in a complex STEM program at minimal expense and does not require to have access to significant Design and Technology workshop facility.

For Teachers

This project is designed so as not require teachers to have any unique or specialised skills. There is no need for knowledge of coding or specific Design & Technology skills.

This project is all about having the students think through a problem of human habitation, brainstorm a broad range of ideas and concepts and then rationalising the best of these ideas into a solution that meets the design criteria.

The project has students draw on knowledge and skills in science and math and then using this knowledge in the context of solving a real problem. They should develop design scenarios and then use research in all areas of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) to develop their concept for a Biomedical Space Hub.

Using a product called Sketch-up, students will build a 3D model of their design. Sketch-up is a straightforward and easy to use 3D modelling tool which the students will learn quite quickly. There is a plethora of on-line training material on how to use Sketch-up.

The Challenge Task

You are a team of Engineers, Scientists and Entrepreneurs and you must form a virtual company consisting of up to five students who will all have different roles and responsibilities in the process of designing the Bio-Medical Space Hub.

As a newly formed company, you’ll need to create a well-structured organisation. Each member of your team needs a clear role, title and share the workload for the duration of the project. These roles may include the following:

  • Team Leader
  • Team Scientist
  • Design Engineer
  • Virtual Reality Engineer
  • Mars Environmental Engineer
  • Marketing and Communications Manager

As a new business, you’ll need to come up to speed quickly on all things involved in space travel. You will need to understand how a crew might use the hub and define a definition for the use of the Hub.

Setting up on a new planet will require some detailed planning. You are new to the space industry so you’ll need to learn about the latest issues influencing space travel.

The stand-alone, modular Bio-medical Space Hub should be designed to operate as a laboratory, medical centre and operating theatre. You will need to consider design options which will set your design apart from the competition.

Your task is to not only design the Bio-medical Space Hub, but you must present and sell your ideas to industry professionals. You’ll need to create marketing material and develop awareness for your company and your design. You could achieve this through the development of logos, advertisement, media exposure, social media and marketing materials.

Presentation of your project will involve the following elements:

Development of a 3D model of your design built using Sketch-up.

A trade display which highlights your team, company profile, the science behind your design, the advantages and the benefits your design. These advantages may include transportability, operational efficiency and sustainability.

A ten-minute verbal presentation, in essence, a sales pitch, describing your team, your design and its benefits. This presentation will be delivered to a group of Engineers, Scientists and Managers from industry.

A 12 page A3 or up to 20 page A4 portfolio covering your company, your team and your design.

Your project will be assessed based on a range of criteria including the application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics principles, any collaboration you undertake and your design process.

Related Articles

Australia’s Newest STEM Program Blasts Off!

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.