Megan Poehler from St Mary’s Diocesan School in Stratford, Taranaki and Tessa Hiscox from Freyberg High School in Palmerston North have been selected by Royal Society Te Apārangi to attend the European Space Camp at the Andoya Space Centre in northern Norway. They leave for the camp at the start of August.
The first Space Camp took place at the Andoya Centre in 1996 and has since attracted over 500 participants from over 20 countries around the world. Some of the best lecturers from across Europe speak on topics as diverse as rocket physics, the work of CERN and the northern lights. Group work enables participants to spend a week in the life of a scientist and tackle a problem relating to the rocket launch. There are five groups in total: Rocket System Design, Experimental Instrumentation, Payload, Rocket Telemetry and Rocket Physics. The highlight of the week is the rocket launch, which takes place near the end of the week, with enough time to analyse the results of the launch before the students depart.
Set amongst a stunning backdrop of mountains and facing the Norwegian Sea, the Andoya Space Centre enjoys a truly spectacular location in northern Norway. But, because the space camp is so remote it is not the easiest place to get to and the flight costs are expensive. However, the Talented School Students Travel Award, administered by Royal Society Te Apārangi and funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, will fund 70% of the students’ travel and registration fees. This Fund supports secondary school students who have been selected on a national basis to attend international science and technology events.
Tessa and Megan have a passion for science and they each belong to their local astronomy clubs. Tessa intends to study at the University of Canterbury next year towards a degree in mechanical engineering, while Megan is going to study physics and astrophysics also at the University of Canterbury.