In a special collaboration between Actura and NASA’s Space Center Houston, Actura’s FlipRobot Solution was implemented at Space Center University (Space U) for the first time on Tuesday 9 July 2019 as part of Space U’s 5-day STEAM education program. The CASE Senior Space School students were fortunate to be the first to engage in this program. This came at a momentous time in history, as the 50th anniversary of manned spaceflight was celebrated in mid-July, symbolising human exploration and success at its finest.
The collaboration between Actura and Space Center Houston represents a unique union with Actura’s FlipRobot Solution module designed specifically for the Space U Program; a five-day program designed to engage students in immersive STEAM-related activities that promote teamwork, problem-solving and engineering solutions to space exploration. The bespoke design FlipRobot Solution included the chance for students from the CASE Space School International Study Program to engage in robotic education learning activities. In total, thirty-seven lucky CASE Space School students from Year 10 to 12 were involved in the program.
The objective of the FlipRobot rover challenge that the students engaged in was to simulate building a rover module to collect samples from a Mars landscape in the shortest amount of time. Students designed, implemented and built a rover using multiple available configuration options. They also learnt how to apply different sensor technologies to help the rover traverse through simulated martian terrain intelligently. In addition, they used blockly and script programming to code the rover to complete different tasks.
“We are delighted to be collaborating with Space Center Houston on robotic learning applications. We share a commitment to provide interactive, engaging and exciting STEAM programs underpinned by the foundations of the Seven Survival Skills by Dr Tony Wagner. This helps develop students’ interest in the areas of STEAM, leading students to utilize STEAM skills after high school. A new and renewed interest in these subjects will prepare young people for leading occupations of the future”, said Actura’s David Sunton, Vice President for Marketing and Product Management.
Daniel Newmyer, Space Center Houston Vice President of Education, also commented: “We look forward to collaborating with CASE on delivering hands-on robotic opportunities for CASE Space School students as part of their Space University program”.
Mirroring Australia and NASA’s partnership, and also as a timely reminder of our involvement, July also marked the commemoration of 50 years since Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins first made their historic successful landing on the moon in 1969. This symbolised a momentous occasion in history for manned space exploration and the spirit of entrepreneurialism that the landing on the moon embodies.