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Pupils in Cardiff blast off to a bright future


Secondary schools from across Cardiff are working together to explore the challenges faced during a mission to Mars to develop a new settlement able to sustain human life.

Space Academy 2023 is a week-long education program to help 13 and 14 year olds to learn more about global efforts for space travel and colonisation of Mars. This is a scheme created for children from secondary schools across the city, and especially those in underrepresented groups, to inspire them with STEM based careers in the space industry - a growth sector within the city and capitol region. (STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

A person holding a stick with a flame in front of a personDescription automatically generatedSix secondary schools from across the city are working together to explore the challenges that would be faced during a mission to Mars to develop a new settlement able to sustain human life. Pupils from participating schools will be invited to engage with a series of mission to Mars challenges.


Team events will require pupils to work together to produce proposals for the construction of a base to house a human colony on Mars. The series of challenges will require pupils to work creatively to produce design for a rocket launch and Lego robotics to explore the terrain and life on Mars using the latest research evidence.

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Pupils will have opportunities to work with leading researchers from Cardiff University's School of Physics and Astronomy and the School of Engineering, alongside leading local employers from the aerospace sector including Space Forge and Small Spark Space Systems, and a variety of other external experts. Through engaging in these varied learning experiences, they will be able to apply and extend their knowledge of science and technology as well as other integral skills that form the pillars of the new curriculum. 


Councillor Sarah Merry, Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council and Cabinet Member for Education, said: "Space Academy Cardiff is helping to raise aspirations and inspire more school children in Cardiff to consider taking up STEM subjects and opening their eyes to future career opportunities in space industry.

An excellent example of partnership working,events like these workto equip young people with the right knowledge and skills they need to succeed. They are provided with experiences, information and advice on the exciting career prospects Cardiff has to offer which in turn helps employers to access a generation of young people who are informed, enthusiastic and excited to work in Cardiff, helping to grow sectors in the Capital Region." 

Following a week-long programme of engaging workshops, a special showcase of the pupils achievements will be followed by their graduation from Space Academy Cardiff 2023 on Friday 7 July at CultVR, a groundbreaking digital arts centre in Grangetown.


Professor Paul Roche leading the project on behalf of Cardiff University, said "Space Academy Cardiff offers a unique opportunity to develop pupils understanding of Science and Technology linked to space exploration. For the first time, many will experience the wide range of Higher Education opportunities that exist at university, as well as some of the innovative employment opportunities within the local area on which to set their future aspirations".