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Rocketing to success

QMC student Beatrice Fordham Duncan holding a graduation certificate from the CASE Space School with a representative from the organisation.
Beatrice Fordham Duncan with a graduation certificate from the CASE Space School with a representative from the organisation.

Nine Middle and Senior School students went on a journey to the stars in the summer holidays as part of the CASE Space School.

The CASE Space School was offered to students in New Zealand and Australia as part of a relationship with the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia. As part of the adventure, girls visited the NASA headquarters in Houston, where they were encouraged to learn how to take on the changes in technology and science as they move into their careers.

Most of the QMC participants applied in March 2018. “I applied because I thought the topic of space and astronomy was really interesting and it was a great opportunity to try something new,” Year 12 student Isabella Eftimov says.

Year 10 student Beatrice Fordham Duncan received a scholarship for the Space School through AGSA. “I think it’s really important that girls are given the opportunity to do things like this, in space and science.”

Beatrice, Ishta Khot and Isabelle Moult attended the Junior Programme. Isabella, Samantha Brown, Julia Kemmitt, Sophia Hallum Clarke, Lucy Jeffries and Madeleine Railton attended the Senior Programme.

“We were given a tram tour around the NASA Space Center, and it was especially cool to see Mission Control as part of that,” Beatrice says.

Although the trip was “amazing”, it was not without its challenges. As part of the Senior Programme, students competed in ChallengeX.

“We were put into groups and had to come up with ideas for futuristic aspects of space,” Isabella explains. “My group worked on a space tourism company for the moon. We didn’t have a lot of time to come up with our ideas for our presentation. It meant that we all had to work really hard together to ensure we made our project the best we could.”

Year 12 student Lucy Jeffries’ team went through to the next round of their challenge and presented their ideas to NASA astronauts.

“This was very daunting but an amazing opportunity to showcase our ideas and show what we learnt over the course,” Lucy says.

The students were quick to recommend the programme to other girls with an interest in science and space.

“You have to be prepared to work really hard, but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it’s all worth it,” Lucy says.