Space school set to seize industry opportunity

Opportunities for school children across South Australia are set to skyrocket following on from yesterday’s historic announcement to locate the Australian Space Agency headquarters in Adelaide at Lot Fourteen.

Premier Steven Marshall today visited the only school in the state with a dedicated Space Education Centre and specialist curriculum, Hamilton Secondary College, to spruik new local opportunities for students.

The Premier said the space industry is growing at an unprecedented rate across the nation, and the State Liberal Government has a key focus on encouraging more young students to pursue careers in this sector.

“Establishing the headquarters of the Australian Space Agency in South Australia is set to launch our space and defence sectors to the next level, and we want South Australia’s young people to be best placed to take advantage of this industry boom,” said Premier Marshall.

“The skills learned at Hamilton Secondary College are a key ingredient in not only meeting the workforce needs of the space industry, but also in preparing our young people for the growing use of technology in the modern workforce more broadly.

“Setting our children up for the jobs of tomorrow requires educating our students in STEM today.”

The school’s Space Education Centre has four main areas to support its space science program, which includes a simulated Martian crater with seven different geological zones, a Mission Control Room, a Briefing Room and a space laboratory.

The facility’s Martian landscape has been designed to simulate real-life Martian explorations and has been built from rock collected from all over Australia to map out seven geological areas within the crater.

As part of the program, students role play scenarios as astronauts collecting samples on the Mars surface and as scientists monitoring data at Mission Control.

Additionally, the school has been forging relationships with leading organisations in the aerospace field, including NASA and the European Space Agency.

Education Minister John Gardner praised the school’s work in pioneering space education in South Australia.

“Hamilton Secondary College’s Space Centre is doing tremendous work integrating all four elements of STEM learning into the theme of space education,” said Minister Gardner.

“Education will play a vital role in developing our space and defence industry workforce and this Government is committed to aligning education with the skill sets that industry needs so our young people are best placed for the jobs of the future.

“The school’s Space Centre and Mission to Mars program offer an exciting and unique educational experience for students, and we expect interest in this program to grow significantly now that South Australia is the official home of the nation’s space industry.”