NASA Scientists and Astronaut Conduct Space Experiment Workshop with School Students at Shiv Nadar School

Winning experiment to be replicated aboard the International Space Station by astronauts, Astronaut Steven Roy Swanson and his team are interacting with students from 14 schools participating in the workshop

India CSR News Network

NEW DELHI: Friday 7 October, 2016:  Shiv Nadar School, a part of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, is conducting a unique multi-school workshop for an experiential learning program called Mission Discovery India in collaboration with ISSET (International Space School Educational Trust), UK. The five day workshop, from October 5 – 9, 2016, will involve Indian students working in mixed groups with Astronaut Steven Roy Swanson; Astronaut Trainer, Sarah Murray; ISSET Founder, Chris Barber, and other leaders to design experiments for space. The winning experiment will be replicated by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The India workshop is ISSET’s first in Asia.

The workshop being conducted at the Shiv Nadar School, Noida is orienting students on real-life issues linked to space based on which the students will design experiments, taking into account the limiting environment of space. For example winning experiments from past global Mission Discovery programs looked at determining the effectiveness of treatment of conjunctivitis in microgravity or carbon dioxide consumption by cacti in space. The 17 participating schools from across North India include the Shiv Nadar Schools, Mayo College, Ajmer, Delhi Public School and The Sri Ram School among others. Students are divided into 30 teams comprising eight students each (from class 8th upwards) to design the experiments.

Astronaut Steven Roy Swanson is working with a dynamic team to help students get a first-hand experience of working together on space linked experiments. The workshop facilitators also include NASA scientist Sarah Murray (she is responsible for the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory Space Walking training facility at NASA and has also held roles in Astronaut Training and Mission Control) and Julie Keeble, a lecturer in Pharmacology in the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science from King’s College London.

On bringing Mission Discovery to India, Astronaut Steven Roy Swanson said “We are delighted to be in India. With this program, students get a straight-off opportunity to get involved and participate in something that for many is unimaginable or out-of-bounds. Winning this will give students the privilege of having their ideas actually reach space and be carried out at the international space station.  This will not only help them learn how to work in a team and gain knowledge about space, but also help them enhance their self- belief and capabilities to be able to achieve success.”

Speaking on the occasion, Col Gopal Karunakaran, CEO, Shiv Nadar School says, “This is a great opportunity and privilege for Indian students and just the kind of far-reaching things that we try out at the Shiv Nadar School to provide our students incredible learning experiences. Mission Discovery is allowing Indian students an opportunity to experiment on scientific issues actually relevant to NASA, working alongside real astronauts and scientists. This is experiential learning at its finest and we are very grateful to ISSET for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Chris Barber, Founder, The International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET), said, “Mission Discovery is a global program conducted in the UK, USA, China, Australia and, now in India. Through this we inspire school students with an opportunity to have their ideas carried out by astronauts as they orbit the earth on the International Space Station. Mission Discovery enables students to learn firsthand from astronauts, world famous scientists and NASA leaders. In this the first Mission Discovery in India or Asia, we are impressed with the knowledge and enthusiasm of the Indian students.”

Shikha Agnihotri, Founder, Young Edsplorer, “We are very enthusiastic to work in partnership with schools to promote the concept of Experiential Learning which is the process of learning through experience, and is more specifically defined as -Learning through reflection on doing. Young Edsplorer aims to revolutionize the concept of learning through experiences for school students in the Indian Subcontinent. Capitulating the power of this potential, our mission is to let the maximum young minds explore world and the environment around themselves. Keeping that passion in mind, we would like to thank ISSET, UK for collaborating with us to bring Mission Discovery to India.”