After 9 missions to space, Magnitude.io has engaged schools, science centers, libraries, and museums around the world. World Space Week is a wonderful opportunity for us to share and celebrate the amazing work of our partner organizations as co-create experiences not just today, but for the future that is just over the horizon. For Day #2, we’d like to share the interconnected partnerships established in New South Wales, Australia and the Greater Sydney Area.
Our primary support on the ground in Australia is Fizzics Education – a company with nearly two decades of experiential hands-on programs. Led by entrepreneur Ben Newsome, Fizzics has the ability to provide indelible experiences in person – something a bit more difficult for us in Berkeley!
Support from the NSW Department of Education has been critical for us to meet the broader STEM goals that are well established. Under the STEM Industry School Partnerships (SISP) program, Dr. Scott Sleap has helped us by providing an integral perspective of our missions in orbit and the core curriculum.
As an entrepreneur, working with Ben and Scott has always felt a bit like being in a jazz session. Early collaborative work as a trio produced the Australian Virtual Astronaut (AVA) Challenge in the middle of the pandemic. (Why feel “locked-in” or “stuck at home” when you could imagine life as a deep space explorer?) Students across Australian and the world created such a success with their enthusiasm and engagement that it has returned in 2022.
The foundational and creative work that emerged out of AVA enabled Magnitude to develop a most extraordinary experience in collaboration with the Powerhouse Museum. Under the leadership of Sophie Poisel, and presented as part of the Lang Walker Family Academy In-Schools Program, Powerhouse: Future Space connects Stage 5 students from six Western Sydney local government areas to the International Space Station and a global network of learners through the ExoLab-10 mission.
This program is being developed over the next two years where students from these inaugural institutions will have a mission designed by their own hand in orbit concurrent with the grand opening of the new Powerhouse Museum in Parramatta.
The Powerhouse: Future Space schools include: Arthur Phillip High School, Casula High School, East Hills Girls Technology High School, Hurlstone Agricultural High School, Jamison High School and Seven Hills High School with additional schools Murrumbidgee Regional High School, Maitland Grossmann High School, and The Rivers Secondary Academy.
This is just the first year of a multi-year program. There is so much to say here — best for a follow up post! In the interim, check out the introduction of this program on NSW Education’s STEM 2022 On Demand.