- This excursion has passed.
Australian Virtual Astronaut Challenge – Kick Off! (Stage 2, Stage 3, Stage 4, Stage 5)
FREE STEM challenge! Join a 9-step #STEM design sprint based on the challenges faced by the Australian Space Industry. Special guest Mani Thiru; she is the AWS Head of Space & Satellite for Asia Pacific
Learn about this FREE 9-step STEM design sprint based on challenges facing NASA’s Artemis and the Australian space industry. Hear space industry speakers & choose from several STEM design sprints based on challenges facing the Australian space industry.
AVA teams will choose from a set of five scenarios and design a solution presented in the form of either a 90-second video pitch or poster. A number of teams will then be selected to pitch their ideas at the Young Space Explorers event in December in Sydney!
- Earth Observation: Milo Institute – The University of Arizona
- Robotics: Trailblazer – The Australian Space Agency
- Home on the Moon: Aldrin Family Foundation
- Growing Food in Space: Magnitude.io
- AI in Space
Key Information to Teachers on Delivery
This program has been designed to be delivered flexibly. You can use as much or as little of the materials as you wish. It could be finished in a couple of lessons or over a number of weeks. FAQs
Register your class
Secure your young astronauts’ place in this exciting challenge below!
IS THIS A FREE EVENT? Yes
BROUGHT TO YOU BY: Fizzics Education, STEM Industry School Partnerships (SISP) Program
Mani Thuru, AWS Head of Space & Satellite for Asia Pacific and Japan
Mani is the lead for AWS Asia Pacific and Japan, working with customers and partners in the space industry to further the region’s economic development by unlocking the next generation of space innovation. She works with a global team of interdisciplinary experts to re-imagine space system architectures, transform space enterprises, launch new services that process space data on earth and in orbit, and use secure, flexible, scalable, and cost-efficient cloud solutions to support government missions and companies advancing space around the world.
Alice Fairey, Australian Space Agency
Alice completed a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Chemistry at Sydney University, then joined the Questacon Science Circus, where they got a Master of Science Communication. Since then, Alice has combined their laboratory and communication skills to work as a science presenter, a fairy for a children’s entertainment company, a biomedical field technician and engineer, and a lab manager at a high school, before finally joining the Australian Space Agency in 2021 as a Space Communicator, and then as a Senior Programs and Operations Officer.
Date & Time
17-Feb-2023 12:00PM + Google Calendar + iCal Export
Live Event - Scheduled
iSTEM, SC4-12ES, SC5-12ES, SC4-1VA & SC5-1VA.
Main KLA, Strand, Sub Strand
Science and Tech » Earth and Space 7-10
Science and Tech » Working Scientifically and Design and Production » Earth and Space
Science and Tech » Working Scientifically and Design and Production » Digital Technologies
Learning Intentions & Success Criteria
A student will
- learn about challenges in the space industry
– Earth observation
– Growing food in space
– Habitation on the moon
– AI in space
- complete a STEM design challenge as per the iSTEM process student-centred elective summarised below:
Mission 1: Introduction
Mission 2: Define the challenge
Mission 3: Identify the challenge
Mission 4: Brainstorm the solution
Mission 5: Design the solution
Mission 6: Prototype creation
Mission 7: Evaluate the design
Mission 8: Iterate your design
Mission 9: Communicate the Pitch
Who is the challenge for?
The challenge is ideal for students in Years 5 – 10 and specifically suited to students studying iSTEM, Science, Mandatory Technology, or primary science and technology classes. There are different entry levels for the challenge:
Stage 3 – Years 5 and 6
Stage 4 – Years 7 and 8
Stage 5 – Years 9 and 10 (Eligible for Phase 2)
Joining The Event
Requirements: Technology, Materials and Pre and Post event requirements.
Ability to connect to the internet and Zoom.
The AVA website has a wide array of downloadable PDFs and curated videos on each of the STEM challenges.
Connecting To The Event
Please register for the AVA challenge via the Zoom webinar link.
You will get a unique webinar link to join.
More Information About This Event
Does it cost anything?
No! The Australian Virtual Astronaut Challenge is proudly supported by AWS in Communities and is free for schools to enter.
How much work do the students have to do?
It’s up to you! This STEM unit has been designed to be flexible and it is optional to be involved in any of the design aspects. However, we encourage everyone joining the challenge to consider this as a deep engagement opportunity for students that can be incorporated into weekly teaching & learning as your timetable permits.
During the webinars, will there be breakout rooms with students?
No, due to a large number of schools & students involved, your students will be on this webpage watching the live stream.
This webinar will involve panellists discussing the challenge & posting questions that can be answered by your students using AhaSlides. Should your students have questions for the panellists, they can send them to you in your LMS or even via email. You can then raise these questions via the Q & A during the webinar. Please note, not all questions will be able to be answered live due to the number of schools & students involved.
Ben Newsome founded Fizzics Education to deliver science education across Australia, having now reached 2 million kids since 2004. He is a qualified science teacher, 2013 Churchill Fellow, 2020 AMP Tomorrow Maker, 2015, 2016 & 2018 Australian Small Business Winner for Children’s Education Services, 2020 WSABE Outstanding Business Leader of the Year, 2019 Blacktown Business Person of the Year, and receiver of several Pinnacle Awards from the Center for Interactive Learning & Collaboration.
Ben is a board member for Educating 4 Leadership, is an advisory board member of the Center for Interactive Learning & Collaboration, an Ambassador for the Association of Science Education Technicians NSW and is part of the NSW Churchill Fellows Association committee. He is also the author of ‘Be Amazing! How to teach science the way primary kids love’ & the host of the FizzicsEd Podcast.
In 2012 Ben co-founded the non-profit Virtual Excursions Australia which has now grown to include over 40 major cultural institutions and departmental distance education managers, where together VEA members create collaborative video conference events and share tips and tricks on best practice. In 2015 he co-founded another non-profit called the Pinnacle Education Collaborative, a network of over 30 cultural organisations in North America that deliver virtual excursions to schools, retirement homes, remand centres and more.
Optional Further Learning
All of the support resources are freely available on the Australian Virtual Astronaut Challenge site.
These have been carefully created by the NSW Department of Education STEM Industry School Partnerships team and Fizzicas Education together with leading space industry & design thinking experts.
If you have any queries please contact the provider
Name: Fizzics Education
Phone: 02 9674 2191
Email: [email protected]
Will This Event Be Recorded?
The recording for this webinar will be added to the AVA website.
HOWEVER – you need to register for the challenge via the zoom registration page to be able to enter the challenge (even if you cannot attend, the same registration will be used throughout the year for other AVA events)