Students in Northam connect with space-tech experts 

08 July 2020

Students at St Joseph’s School in Northam had the opportunity in the final week of Term Two to speak with guests from Blue Origin, a space company based in the United States, about new technologies, STEM careers and space exploration. 

Sarah Knights, who heads up Blue Origin’s Intern Program, joined the class via video link to speak about her own experiences of finding her passion for space and forging a career first as a STEM educator, and now member of the privately-owned space company. 

Sarah was also able to tell the students about Blue Origin’s work developing reusable vehicles for space travel, and other technologies to help people access, live and work in space in future generations. 

The St Joseph’s students were full of questions during the Q&A, with discussions covering reusable rockets, dark matter and parallel universes, and how space exploration and travel will benefit earth and change the way we live in the future. 

Also joining the call was Blue Origin team member Josef Reinke, Director of Club for the Future, Blue Origin’s nonprofit that aims to inspire youth to pursue careers in STEM and help visualise the future of life in space. 

St Joseph’s students were able to take part in the Club’s first initiative best ideas for what they would build in space on a postcard. 

The postcards will be flown to space aboard a Blue Origin rocket and returned to each student with a ‘Flown to Space’ stamp. 

St Joseph’s School Year 7-12 Curriculum Coordinator, Mark Gargano, said that the chance to connect with experts working in the space industry had generated a lot of excitement with his students. 

“Immediately after our morning speaking with Sarah and Josef, students were chatting about what they had learned, it was a very motivating morning for them,” Mr Gargano said. 

St Joseph’s School, thanks in large part to the work of Mr Gargano, has been successful in providing students with highly engaging and unique STEM learning opportunities, and the Blue Origin call was not their first time speaking with experts on space and space technologies. 

After the success of the call with St Joseph’s School, planning is underway for further events with CEWA and Blue Origin. 

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