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We're at Space Camp!

open this image in new window: 'Captain' Rachael Mason at SpaceCamp

This article was published on 21 June 2018

Dr Rachael Mason and three #spacekiwis are at Space Camp USA this week, exploring NASA's space tech and immersing themselves in astronaut training programmes.

This year, three New Zealand girls (Meredith Patterson, Hermione Aris and Xian Millar) have been selected to attend Space Academy at Space Camp USA in Huntsville, Alabama with Callaghan Innovation's Rachael Mason. They'll attend a girls-only camp that runs for six days from 17-22 June at the US Space and Rocket Centre. At Space Academy girls from around the world will come together and learn about the history and future of space exploration. They'll also work together and confront space mission scenarios that require problem solving and critical thinking.

Space Camp in the United States is the ultimate educational experience that provides hands-on applications of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Over 750,000 people have attended Space Camp since it began in 1982 with 12 becoming Astronauts. Surveys from 2017 show that 61% of Space Camp graduates are currently in, or studying for, careers in aerospace, energy, biotech or technology.

This trip is the ultimate experiential learning opportunity to see science in action. The experiences the girls will have may be the first step on their journey to become New Zealand's first women in space. They'll also be ambassadors to promote STEM in their community, helping to provide inspiration to their peers and younger girls. 

Some highlights from 18 and 19 June

20 June - Women in Stem panel and practicing for an EVA 'spacewalk' mission

21 June - Astronaut Wendy Lawrence and mission control launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour