Sunderland youngsters join international space project

Youngsters at a Sunderland school are reaching for the sky as they blast off into space.

A group of children from Grindon Hall Christian School had their data launched into space in a rocket from Cape Canaveral.

Grindon Hall Christian School youngster has his eye on the space project.

Grindon Hall Christian School youngster has his eye on the space project.

The launch was part of the Quest for Space project being run from Silicon Valley in California.

Joanne Maw, headteacher at Grindon Hall, said it was hugely exciting to be running a project at the forefront of space exploration.

The Sunderland children were part of just a handful of youngsters globally taking part in Quest for Space, which has seen youngsters aged between nine and 12 gain a better understanding of space.

On Tuesday, at 9.30pm, the experiment designed by the children in Sunderland was sent on a rocket launch to gather real data on the ISS from Cape Canaveral in the USA.

The opportunity has been like an incredible dream

Joanne Maw

Mrs Maw said in partnership with Quest for Space, the pupils designed a completely original experiment using robotics and lego mindstorms software, to test how different colour fabrics responded to heat and radiation in space.

Their data will add to the global understanding of new technologies for the future.

Quest for Space believes the jobs of tomorrow are going to require a huge skills expansion and will increasingly be in computer software, electrical engineering and robotics.

The next frontier will see space exploration as a reality.

Youngsters doing some research work.

Youngsters doing some research work.

Mrs Maw said: “Being part of such an inspiring project has given the children and other pupils at the school hope to dream impossible dreams and has opened up new possibilities for their futures.

“This opportunity is like an incredible dream for a headteacher. What a great programme it’s been to inspire and lift the children’s expectations of themselves. To do something here in our school that went to the International Space Team is mind blowing. The whole school has been excited.”

Councillor Lynda Scanlon, said: “We’re very proud to have a school from Sunderland pioneering and leading the way in space exploration in the UK. What a fantastic achievement for the children and how inspirational for the city.”

A spokesman for Quest for Space, said: “Grindon Hall Christian School is leading the way for students in the UK to send experiments to the International Space Station.

The model being prepared for space.

The model being prepared for space.

“The Quest for Space program is at the forefront of student space exploration and will soon be expanding their experiment capability to run student experiments on an outside platform in the vacuum of space. The sky is no longer the limit.”

For more information on the project visit www.questforspace.com.

Youngsters testing their equipment.

Youngsters testing their equipment.

One of the logos the Grindon Hall Christian School youngsters came up with.

One of the logos the Grindon Hall Christian School youngsters came up with.

Blast off!

Blast off!

Grindon Hall pupils working on their calculations.

Grindon Hall pupils working on their calculations.

Staff and students at the school getting involved.

Staff and students at the school getting involved.

A lot of concentration going into the space project work.

A lot of concentration going into the space project work.