SEK Catalunya International School has made it possible for a group of ten Baccalaureate students to attend a five-day stage at the NASA-Johnson Space Center Houston (Texas), in the United States. SEK-Catalunya is the first school in Spain to hold a group stage at NASA’s facilities.
The visit allowed the school to enjoy an experience that up to now was only afforded to European schools from the UK, France and Italy.
The stay included a programme featuring challenges, achievements and micoprojects, all focussed on an experimental perspective and team work in NASA labs and simulation rooms. For example, students attended robotics workshops for the exploration of the surface of Mars, thermal design, Mars habitats and rocket engineering. They also took part in vacuum labs in order to understand what astronaut training is like. Furthermore, on the last day of the stage, they were given the opportunity to meet an astronaut.
Students were very involved in the project from the outset and have actively contributed to aspects such as funding and the future of this initiative. The students were responsible for finding sponsors, receiving funding from the Felipe Segovia Foundation and the private company Eurotramex.
The ten students on the stage have suggested that this experience as the start of a more intense and long-term collaboration with NASA, including the possibility of an annual stage with students from all SEK Educational Group schools and Camilo José Cela university.
Real-life experience at NASA to enrich the international curriculum
The group of students visiting NASA are currently studying the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Beyond putting into practice knowledge acquired in Physics, Chemistry and Maths, thanks to work with the NASA-Johnson Space Center Houston aeronautical engineers, students greatly enriched their academic records through this learning by doing educational experience, a concept which is key in the SEK Cataluyna International School teaching model.
According to David Delgado, teacher at SEK-Catalunya and head of the project, “the stage is a top-class experience and a determining factor on the student’s academic curriculum and is an asset when applying to universities around the world”.
More information on the initiative in: #SEKstageNASA16, @SEKCatalunya, www.facebook.com/sekcatalunya