School children were given a fascinating insight into the world of space during a visit to Westcott Venture Park.
The students from five local secondary schools met experts from businesses who gave demonstrations of the latest developments taking place at the Park’s space cluster.
School’s included St Hugh’s School Faringdon, The Mandeville School, Bucks UTC, Sir William Borlase Grammar School and Buckingham School.
Pupils were fascinated by a demonstration of a live rocket propulsion system by URA Thrusters while AVS UK allowed them to perform the electrolysis of water themselves, producing hydrogen and oxygen – also known as rocket fuel!
Meanwhile, at established engineering firm Benchmark, the groups were able to see hardware that will shortly be used in space.
A special talk was hosted by the UK Space Agency and ESA covering topics including how we use space in our daily lives and the job opportunities available in the sector along with interactive demonstrations and games.
Emily Dingle, COO at URA Thrusters, said: “This was a highly informative event for the students showing what happens here at Westcott and the importance of space-related industries.
“Everyone really enjoyed themselves and hopefully we will have helped attract the next generation of employees into a rapidly developing sector.”
Rodney De Nysschen, Techer of Science at The Buckingham School said: “The sessions were both stimulating and challenging, leaving the students inspired and intrigued to know more.
“Events like this go a long way to attracting young people to science and technology as they show the wide range of career options available at all levels, from skilled trades to graduate researchers.”
Sound bites from the students:
UK and European Space Agencies - “a really good explanation of the different uses of satellites. “I hadn’t realised satellites are used for so many things on earth.”
AVS - “I enjoyed doing a hands-on experiment.” “I learnt that we were using electricity to split water to make oxygen and hydrogen for fuel.”
Benchmark Space Systems - “I liked the way they showed real examples and didn’t dumb down their explanations which is what usually happens.” “I learnt that satellites are often launched in groups and using different technologies.”
URA Thrusters - “that high pressure is used for fuel technologies.” “How much work goes into making safer and cheaper or more efficient fuels.”
European Astrotech - “How heavy, hot and humid it is working inside a SCAPE suit.” “How dangerous rocket fuel is, using the main industry fuel hydrazine.”