A group of Scottish secondary school pupils are over the moon as their science experiments have been selected to be launched into outer space as part of a Mission Discovery programme hosted by the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) in partnership with the International Space School Education Trust (ISSET).
From Monday 4 June until today, around 200 pupils from Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde and South Lanarkshire councils as well as UWS students, embarked on a jam-packed week of hands-on science experiments in the hope that theirs would be chosen to be sent to space.
The winning group, which will see their experiment tested out by NASA astronauts on the International Space Station, is ‘Orbit’* with their Vitamin C experiment exploring the effects of microgravity on the degradation of Vitamin C in space.
The judges felt the team’s experiment was particularly relevant to current life in space as nutrition is extremely important to astronauts and preserving vitamins in their diet whilst in orbit could have beneficial effects on their health.
As well as working on their experiments, the pupils and students have been learning more about what life is like in outer space from former NASA astronaut, Tony Antonelli, who was the Space Shuttle Discovery pilot on the STS-119 mission to the International Space Station in 2009.
The purpose of the interactive Mission Discovery programme is to teach young people about space and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related subjects, in a unique and engaging way. The initiative’s aim is to raise the aspirations of students to consider STEM subjects whilst demonstrating the breadth of career options they offer.