Forty one students travelled to Huntsville, Alabama to take part in a NASA Space Camp during the July school holidays, accompanied by teachers Ms Sarnia Slabbert, Mr Matthew Huang, Ms Jenna Bone, Mr Sam Dockery and Mrs Helen Dunham.
Students Eric Shen and Lance Law share their experience:
“During the Space Camp Program, we spent six days as part of its Advanced Space Academy, which simulated all aspects of space exploration including mission simulations, engineering challenges, and advanced physics and aeronautics history presentations; all encapsulated in NASA’s state of the art facilities at the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center.
What was perhaps the most memorable aspect of Space Camp was its attention to detail in all parts of the camp. This included the design style of sleeping headquarters that simulated life on the International Space Station, its zero waste food policy that challenged individuals to adopt an astronaut’s lifestyle, and life-sized mission rooms for mission simulation.
Many unique activities included the ⅙th gravity chair and a two-storey high scuba diving Neutral Buoyancy Lab to feel the effect of reduced gravity, rocket design and launch, robotic engineering, team-building exercises on the high ropes course, and flight simulators. These aspects were later compiled into a grand three-hour simulated mission that tested our knowledge and team cooperation abilities in the aerospace fields.
Graduation commenced with an inspiring speech from Captain Wendy Lawrence in the Saturn V Hall that contained one of the three original Saturn V rockets, a true privilege and unique experience. Ultimately, Space Camp became not just about the aspects of space exploration but also about discovering those individuals who all attend Space Camp from around the world that share different cultures and interests, and yet have the same curiosity that connects us all.
After graduating, we wasted no time heading to the Sunshine State of Florida. First step was the magical Disney World where we also viewed the spectacular fireworks moving some of us to tears.
This was followed up by the snorkel trip with the manatees at Crystal River, an animal rare to encounter, and we free-dived in the natural springs.
The grand finale was at Universal Studios, hitting the thrill-seeker rides and we later had dinner at the iconic Hard Rock Cafe.
The trip concluded with a spectacular performance from the weird and wonderful Blue Man Group.
On behalf of the students at Space Camp, we would like to thank the real star of this trip: Ms Sarnia Slabbert, and her out-of-the-world organisation that made this trip a real blast for all of us. A massive thank you also to Mr Matthew Huang, Ms Jenna Bone, Mr Sam Dockery and Mrs Helen Dunham for going above and beyond at every point of this trip, making this a truly unforgettable experience.”