Following successful pilot programs, Makers Empire, The Andy Thomas Space Foundation and The Australian Space Agency are partnering to deliver a new, national space education program for 65+ primary schools throughout Australia called Kids in Space. This pioneering new program is designed to deliver education and awareness of the opportunities in space careers to Australian primary school-aged children.
Schools participating in Kids in Space receive space-themed professional development days for teachers, a custom space-themed challenge course for students, Makers Empire for a year, a Makers Empire 3D Printer Package, showcase days in each state for students and teachers to celebrate and share their learning, and an opportunity for one school from each state to win a trip to a a national showcase event at the Australian Space Discovery Centre.
The 2023 program began with professional development and training for teachers. So, throughout February, the Makers Empire team criss-crossed Australia, delivering Kids in Space professional development days to groups of teachers from schools in every state and territory of Australia.
Professional development (PD) days included an introduction to Makers Empire and the Kids in Space Challenge Course, maker pedagogies, Design Thinking and Design thinking in the curriculum from our learning experts, live video calls with guest speakers from the Australian Space Agency, sharing of potential project ideas and an introduction to 3D printing. PD days in some states and territories also included additional guest speakers from the space industry, visits to local space museums and training facilities, and tours of working satellite facilities.
Check out the photos from each state:
Kids in Space in Queensland
First up, the Makers Empire team visited the Gold Coast on 7-8 February to work with our Queensland cohort of teachers at Griffith University.
Special thanks to the team at Griffith University, including Paulo de Souza for hosting and being a guest speaker and Lewis Krygger for conducting the tour and demonstration of a satellite, and Angela Hillsdon.
Kids in Space in the Northern Territory
Next, the Makers Empire team visited the Northern Territory on 9-10 February to work with our local cohort of teachers at the Oaks Hotel. As they did for each state, speakers from the Australian Space Agency also joined via Zoom to present on space industry connections and career pathways.
Kids in Space in New South Wales
The Makers Empire team visited Sydney on 13-14 February to work with our NSW cohort of teachers at the Optus Belrose Satellite Ground Facility. Optus space experts and space ambassadors from Optus’ graduate program shared their inspiring experiences and knowledge and teachers also toured the facility and satellites.
Special thanks to Deborah Macleod, Veronica Bainton, Kim Mobbs and the entire team at Optus Belrose Satellite Ground Facility for hosting.
Kids in Space in Victoria
The Makers Empire team visited Melbourne on 13-14 February to work with our Victorian cohort of teachers at The Victorian Space Science Education Centre (VSSEC). Teachers got to explore and experience the fantastic centre that includes a planetarium and programs like Mission to Mars and Expedition to the M.A.R.S. Base.
Kids in Space in the Australian Capital Territory
The Makers Empire team visited Canberra on 16-17 February to work with our ACT cohort of teachers at the Academy of Future Skills at Caroline Chisholm Senior School. Our guest speaker, Martin Rowse, Director at Airbus Defence and Space, spoke to teachers about his work in space and encouraging students to pursue careers in space. Teachers were then invited to explore the galaxy via a space dome.
Thank you to Martin, Kym Turnbull, Paula Taylor, Dan Heap, Melissa Bissett, Tim Jones, Amy Dennis, Simone Thompson, Shakir Tiruchi and the team at Academy of Future Skills.
Kids in Space in Western Australia
The Makers Empire team visited Perth on 16-17 February to work with our WA cohort of teachers. The professional learning days were hosted at SciTech science museum, who have a fantastic Astronaut exhibition.
Many thanks to Su-Mita Hill, Melissa Mairs, Emily Fleay and the team at SciTech science museum for hosting us.
Kids in Space in Tasmania
The Makers Empire team visited Tasmania on 20-21 February to work with local teachers with professional learning days hosted by the University of Tasmania. Teacher also enjoyed an informative and inspiring tour of the Mount Pleasant Radio Astronomy Observatory and Grote Reber Museum.
Thank you so much to Professor Simon Ellingsen, Steph Do Carmo, Karen Bradford, Dr Warren Hankey, Dr Lucas Hyland and the entire team at the University of Tasmania for hosting the PD days and conducting the tours.
Kids in Space in South Australia
The Makers Empire team finished up our national Kids in Space professional development ‘tour’ in our home state of South Australia with professional learning days for teachers held on February 23-24 at the Australian Space Discovery Centre (ASDC) and Hamilton Space Academy. Guest speakers, Georgia Dallimore from Fleet, Jack Rintoul from Inovor Technologies, and Nathan Wildy from ASDC provided inspiring accounts of their experiences working in the space industry. Teachers also toured Hamilton Space Academy, which includes a simulated Martian crater and landscape with seven different geological zones, a Mission Control Room, a Briefing Room, and a space laboratory.