SPACE ODYSSEY: Bundamba State Secondary College and Ipswich State High School students (from left) Cassandra Connolly, Jorja Simpson, Brock Stedman and Ella Maree Vaughan and teachers Nicholas Kemp (back) and Renee Ford.
SPACE ODYSSEY: Bundamba State Secondary College and Ipswich State High School students (from left) Cassandra Connolly, Jorja Simpson, Brock Stedman and Ella Maree Vaughan and teachers Nicholas Kemp (back) and Renee Ford. Rob Williams

Ipswich students reach for the stars

A GROUP of lucky Ipswich students are reaching for the stars... literally.

Two students from Bundamba State Secondary College along with two from Ipswich State High School have returned from the U.S Space and Rocket Centre where they had the unique opportunity to live and train like astronauts.

They spent 10 days at the space camp in Huntsville, Alabama where they experienced first hand the future of space travel and participated in a number of real training sessions which all astronauts have to complete before blasting off.

Bundamba Secondary College Cassie Connelly said she enjoyed the simulator parts of the training.

"We got to go in a simulator where we went on a mission to the moon and orbited the earth," she said.

"It was really cool because there were people in the control centre telling us what we needed to do."

Ipswich State High School student Jorja Simpson described the activities as fun.

"We got to try out the gravity chair which simulates what it would like to be on the moon," she said.

All of the kids were star struck when they met a real life astronaut who had attended the same camp as them and who went to outer space as part of the 2010 Discovery Mission.

When asked if any of them would love to work for NASA when they grew up, the answer was a unanimous yes.

Ella-Maree Vaughan said she would be interested in being part of NASA's Mars program.

"We are the Mars generation. People from space camp told us that we could be one of the first people on Mars," she said.

"I would love to go, maybe for two years, but not for 10 years.

"I would have to know that I could come back to Earth though because I think I would get homesick."

Accompanying the students were one teacher from each school.

Bundamba State Secondary College maths and science teacher Nicholas Kemp said the trip was a fantastic learning opportunity.

"Space camp was an amazing learning experience and we were very fortunate to participate in a program that is not easily accessed by most of our students," he said.

"We owe a big thank you to Northrop Grumman for providing us with this fantastic opportunity and supporting our strong interests in exploring maths, science and technology and its various applications."



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