Thirteen students (eight girls and five boys) from SEK-Atlántico, SEK-Catalonia, SEK-El Castillo, SEK-Ciudalcampo and SEK-Alborán have participated in the 5th STAGE at NASA headquarters in Houston, Texas.
The students Clara del Valle and Inés Martínez were part of the winning team of this annual stage that the US space agency holds at Johnson Space Center. This scheme is run by SPACE Center University for students from all over the world.
Engineers and teachers from the NASA Space Center highlighted members of the SEK team for their competitiveness and talent in mathematics, physics and English.
Students completed, during their stay in the United States, a challenge made up of twelve tests, competing with other international schools and presenting their proposals to overcome each of the challenges. Students were given a mock budget to optimize in order to complete the research and complete the tests.
SEK students were grouped into teams of four and worked using the learning-by-doing method to apply the knowledge acquired in their academic training to tackle the same challenges as NASA engineers. Students published their research from this 5th Stage in journals with titles such as Building Rockets, Martian habitat, Rover Challenge Rocks, Cryogenics and Thermal Design, among others.
In this challenge the teams also demonstrated their managerial and organisational skills, as each group has divided their work into project-oriented roles such as design engineer, budget controller, communications engineer or project manager. Throughout the week they worked for eight hours a day to discover methods and technology needed to support space travel and living on Mars.
At the end of their training students graduated from the SPACE Center University in Houston and met one of the astronauts who has travelled to space on one of NASA’s missions.