Girls in Space: King’s High Link-Up with International Space Station

GSA students held a live link-up with an Astronaut on the International Space Station, as it whizzed over Europe, following a student-led application to ARISS, the organisation that runs Amateur Radio Aboard the International Space Station.

Eleanor Griffin, a pupil at King’s High, is on a mission to inspire students of all ages to become interested in Space. She says: ‘Our grandparents were the generation that put man on the moon. Our parents were the generation that assembled the International Space Station. As the next generation, it seems only logical we are the people to make humanity an interplanetary species.’

Eleanor led the live link-up, which was streamed worldwide from the school hall at King’s. US Astronaut, Ricky Arnold answered pre-selected questions from girls, aged 9-17 years old, from King’s High and Warwick Preparatory School. The veteran NASA Astronaut (himself a former teacher) told the girls: ‘There is life beyond Earth’; ‘A future colony on Mars could be sustainable, one year on from landing’; ‘The most beautiful sight from the International Space Station is Europe’, and ‘Taste doesn’t change in Space – I still like ice cream, cookies and steak.’ As the ISS sped on over the horizons, he signed off from Space with: ‘Goodbye, King’s High – you’ve been awesome!’

With support from King’s High, Eleanor developed the Warwick Mars Project, a year-long programme of activities that fed into the school curriculum for King’s High, and younger pupils at Warwick Prep, along with a series of co- and extra-curricular events. These included:

  • Planning sustainable living on Mars in Engineering
  • Creative Writing project, exploring Science Fiction and Space Literature in English
  • Exploring Farming on Mars in Geography
  • Astro-Photography Competition in Art
  • Building Mars Rovers in Design Technology
  • Designing Astronaut Smoothies in Food Technology
  • Developing a Mars Society and Amateur Radio Licensing Club
  • A ‘Space Day’ for local primary schools, where pupils built and tested Mars Lander protoypes, learned about weightlessness, and undertook Astronaut Training exercises
  • Talks from representatives from the National Space Academy, UK Space Agency, British Interplanetary Society, and ARISS
  • Stargazing Live event, led by King’s High’s Space Scientist in Residence, with Stratford Astronomical Society and local schools

Richard Nicholson, Head Master of King’s High, says: ‘We are always looking for outstanding opportunities to support the girls’ interests, both inside and outside the classroom. The link-up to the ISS was the thrilling culmination of a range of events, all student-led, supported by our very own Space Scientist in Residence.’

Picture: Eleanor Griffin talks to US Astronaut aboard the International Space Station

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