The two-day Astro Engineering course incorporated a range of tasks where participants were encouraged to wonder, and explore their curiosity. A ‘Wonder Wall’ stimulated discussion and big picture thinking through visuals, affording the girls time to ponder and record questions they were curious to explore further.
Participants visited the International Space Station and were taken on a virtual tour. Discussion following this experience was rich and provoked further questions in preparation for the excursion the following day.
Challenges were set where complex programming and the construction of robotics equipment was required to complete a variety of space missions. The challenges tested the persistence of the girls. It was interesting to observe the different reactions of each girl in the face of challenge and the strategies they used to work through the challenges both independently and in their team.
The excursion to the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research afforded the girls the chance to learn from researchers and PhD students through a range of tasks including constructing and using solar telescopes. The content was highly engaging, thought provoking and cognitively demanding, leaving the girls with aspirations of becoming future astrophysicists or astronauts.