Saturday, 1 December 2012

Mission Discovery & ScienceGrrl

We're very excited about the projects that we will be able to invest in using the proceeds from the sale of the ScienceGrrl calendar 2013. We currently have a consultation open to help guide what we should be doing, but have already committed to one particular project - we'll be funding a team of 6 (4 girls, 2 boys) from a school in Tower Hamlets to attend the Mission Discovery summer school at King's College next summer. One of the teachers at the school we are working with has described this as a 'once in a life-time opportunity'.

I asked Mission Discovery to provide a blog outlining the wonderful experience that awaits these young people, and they kindly sent me this:

"ScienceGrrl is to support a team of four girls and two boys at next year’s Mission Discovery at one of the world’s top 30 universities, King’s College in London. Mission Discovery will enable young people to work with and be accompanied by former NASA astronaut and Space Shuttle Commander Ken Ham, former Director of NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre Jay Honeycutt, Lead NASA Astronaut Trainer Michelle Ham and a range of NASA and biomedical scientists. The Mission Discovery programme is organised by the International Space School Educational Trust. (

During the week-long programme, the young people will work in teams to come up with an idea to be carried out in space. The best idea will be selected, built by ISSET and launched to the International Space Station (ISS). The winning experiment from last year’s programme is an investigation on the effectiveness of antibiotics in space, which will be carried out on the ISS in April and May 2013.

Fantastic role models: A Presentation from Lead NASA Astronaut Trainer, Michelle Ham

It is great for us to support Mission Discovery as it allows young people to develop a range of skills such as NASA leadership and team building, how to be creative, encourages them to fulfil their dreams and ambitions and teaches them how space exploration benefits the earth. The programme also highlights the environment of space, the experience of being in space, what makes a great experiment and much more. The whole programme is orientated to inculcate the NASA “you can do it” spirit.

Girls have done remarkably well in the Mission Discovery programmes. The winning team in last year’s programme included boys and girls from Morpeth School in Tower Hamlets, Gumley House Convent School in Middlesex and Hampton School, also in Middlesex. Whilst the top prize at the first Mission Discovery at Imperial College in London went to the all girl team pictured below.

The programme has amazingly received 100% positive feedback. Here are some of the comments we’ve received:

It was great to learn from all those experienced people, and it was a nice surprise that our experiment won…thanks for an amazing experience!!” Emily Yeomans
Working with all the experts was so inspirational and such a unique experience - nothing else even comes close” Serena Yuen, age 17
The week was simply incredible, I learnt a lot whilst enjoying it at the same time. Thank you to everyone involved.” Sara Rasul, age 14

Mission Discovery was, by far, the most comprehensive, interesting, and educational endeavour I have been involved with.”
Mike McCulley - Former NASA Astronaut and President of United Space Alliance.
I really wish there had been a programme like this for me to attend when I was in high school.”
Michelle Ham - NASA Lead Astronaut Trainer

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