Santa Clara wins for ‘out of this world’ project

07 August 2023

A group of Year 6 students from Santa Clara Primary School have been crowned state champions at this year’s Kids in Space Program. The group’s project “The Pressure Condiment Dispenser!”  as overall state champions at the Kids in Space Program.

Azaria, Therese, Nicholas and Matteo will travel to Adelaide in October to present their project at the National Kids In Space Showcase.

Santa Clara Primary School was one of only eight WA schools selected to participate in the Kids in Space Program. A collaborative effort by Makers Empire, The Australian Space Agency and The Andy Thomas Space Foundation, the program is designed to encourage students to follow a design thinking process to create a space themed solution to a problem.

Participants expressed they enjoyed the opportunity to share their creative ideas.

Riya, Year 4 said, ‘After the judges had been to our stall, I really enjoyed the feeling of celebrating that we had achieved our goal of presenting your ideas clearly to other people.’

With so many stalls and projects to explore, participants were exposed to different ways of thinking and approaching a problem.

Ava, Vilok and Paras, all Year 4 said, ‘It was interesting seeing other kids our age working on the same topic but coming up with different ideas – we learnt a lot about other problems in space that we hadn’t thought about, and creative ways with dealing and solving issues that may arise.’

Matthew, Year 6 and Frankie, Year 5 said being a part of this event gave them the exposure to meet other like-minded people and exchange ideas.

‘Having so many other people, our own age as well as adults, hear our design ideas and understand how we were trying to solve the problem, made us feel like we were on the right track with our project.’

The “Pressure Condiment Dispenser!” project is narrated by the team below:

Azaria said, ‘We found that there was a problem with astronauts not being able to use salt, pepper or granular spices while in space. Due to the lack of gravity, salt or pepper cannot be used because they will float up and into the ventilation systems which can cause damage to sensitive equipment or even cause health issues for the astronauts. We thought that we could fix the problem by making a device that could help with this problem.’

Therese said, ‘Our initial idea was to develop a product that acted like a spray, however, we had eventually decided that this could still lead to the same results mentioned above. After a few more iterations, we settled on the idea of a syringe that you could push into your food to inject the flavour / spices directly into the centre. Through our research, we found that there are already ideas like this for people on earth so we knew that we should keep the idea but innovate it slightly.

Nicholas and Matteo said, ‘Through some discussions with our teacher and peers, we started to think about the idea of an EpiPen, and how they function. The way our gadget works is that if you had steak or just a piece of food, you could inject the ‘EpiPen’ into the food then push the button at the top. It activates a spring which pushes down a canister (with a needle) full of your spices into your food. So instead of having salt and pepper on top of your food you can enjoy your food with the condiments safely sealed on the inside.’

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