Several students from SEK Schools in Spain have attended their third NASA Stage, which took place at the headquarters of the US space agency in Houston (Texas), where they won, for the second year in a row, the challenge competition that is disputed in the facilities of the agency itself.
Within the framework of its educational model, which urges students to live learning experiences that help them understand their environment and the development of an international mentality, this milestone is an important achievement for our Educational Community because of its strong ties with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and how it foster vocations in these areas among our students.
During their stay at NASA, students from SEK schools participated in various challenges in different areas of aerospace science, carried out in a maker environment with a Learning by Doing approach. These challenges included the construction of a rocket and its launch and measuring physical magnitudes and the use of altimeters, in addition to using an explosive for take off. Further challenges included thermal and cryo challenges, in which layers are created to prevent cold and heat from affecting the interior of the rocket, using the same materials used by NASA itself. In addition, students carried out simulations of habitat design on Mars, in which the solar radiation had to be controlled and an environment created permitting food to be grown.
The students travelling to the United States this time for the Stage were Daniel García, Gaizka Barrondo and Nicholas Bergquist, from SEK-El Castillo; Sofía Prieto and Triana Gutiérrez, from SEK-Atlántico; Ulises Lozoya, Laura López and Josep Pena, from SEK-Catalunya; Francisco Yélamos and Raquel Mónico, from SEK-Alborán; Eduardo Martín, Miguel Molleja and Andrés Llamas, from SEK-Ciudalcampo, accompanied by teachers David Delgado, from SEK-Catalunya, and Mercedes Redondo, from SEK-Ciudalcampo.
Interdisciplinary learning in American science and history
To attain the final victory in the Stage, SEK schools prevailed in the challenges of creating a habitat on Mars, the design of cryogenic materials, the use of robotics in the collection of lunar samples and the theoretical knowledge tests. SEK students competed with students from other schools from around the world.
In addition, students had the opportunity to enjoy several visits and excursions with great value for their history and science subjects, in locations such as San Antonio, the Mission of El Álamo, the Museum of Natural Sciences of Houston or Galveston, where they learned how the oil industry in Texas works. They even witnessed, live from NASA headquarters in Houston, the landing of the Insight Mars probe.
At SEK Education Group we strive to promote initiatives that attract the interest of students, citizens of the third millennium, to areas of knowledge related to Science. The trend suggests that STEM professions will create a greater number of jobs, higher wages and productivity in the coming years, and that Spain has a general deficit in these vocations, particularly in the case of girls.