Aiming for the stars in 2023 are Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) students, with some even embarking on a journey to a career in space.
From launching rockets into the atmosphere to building robots of the future, BCE proudly offers its 76,000 students across 146 schools world class Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education from Prep to Year 12.
With many STEAM education programs and events on offer, some even unique to BCE schools and its students, it’s no surprise to see students from Clairvaux MacKillop College Upper Mt Gravatt were recently hand-selected to take part in a STEAM program about Space Exploration (SPASE).
The BCE students worked with Griffith University, Gilmour Space Technologies, Deloitte, and Airbus to design, build, and prepare to launch a satellite into space.
As part of the program the students also learnt how to use Griffith’s 3D printing facility, with the small cubic satellite design, CubeSat, to be launched into orbit 400km above Earth’s surface from the Bowen Spaceport in Northern Queensland this year.
After taking part in SPASE, Clairvaux MacKillop College Year 9 student Oliver shared his hopes to work for NASA or Space X one day.
“I have some ideas on how improve the rocket launch, like using an aerospike engine to save fuel, create more thrust, and improve efficiency,” he said.
Isabella is one of only three students Australia-wide to receive a full scholarship worth over $10,000, with the trip an annual offering for Mary Mackillop College students thanks to the College’s partnership with Acura Education.
“I also have many ideas on how we could use the CubeSat to measure the sun’s rays and adding a telescope to see other planets and stars with live feed, and having it monitor climate and environmental changes.”
2023 is also a big year for space exploration for Year 10 Mary MacKillop College Nundah student Isabella, who along with 15 other students will take off to Space School in Houston, Texas.
Isabella has been anticipating her journey to the United States for a 14-day program at the California Association of STEAM Education (CASE) Space School since she got the news late last year.
The program includes inside access to NASA, and other cutting-edge space and technology start-up organisations, learning from industry experts and enjoying specialist guided tours.
It is a unique STEAM experience, with students immersed in a program that enhances individual leadership, entrepreneurialism, project management, and communication skills – giving participants a head start to a career in STEAM.
Isabella’s scholarship was generously funded by CASE as part of the organisation’s mission to offer students the highest standard of STEAM learning, collaboratively and globally.
She was nominated for the scholarship by Mary MacKillop College Head of Faculty Science Bijendra Prisad.
“Isabella has consistently applied herself to every opportunity,” he said.
“She led the student group which were national winners of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Competition in 2022, earned by problem-solving an issue the Brisbane City Council faces.”
In her scholarship nomination, Isabella talks about how she is inspired by Katherine Johnson, one of NASA’s first female mathematicians.
“Katherine Johnson showed everyone in that department that it didn’t matter if you were a man or a woman, everyone holds the power of knowledge,” she said.
Picture Mary MacKillop College student Isabella is gearing up for Space School in Houston Texas.