Yass High School students to send experiment to the ISS

Yass High School is about to embark on its first mission to space this month.

A group of students in year 9 have created a scientific experiment to be uploaded and performed on the International Space Station.

A key initiative in Yass High’s new class ISTEM (Integrated Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics), the Design for Space module has proven a popular project enabling the students to participate in a real life space mission.

Partnering with Cuberider, an educational institution in Sydney, students coded their Sagan control board using the python programming language.

The board will take readings from a variety of sensors including temperature, time, luminosity, ultraviolet, magnetism, barometer, infrared, gyroscope and acceleration. Photos will also be taken using the camera.

The aim of the experiment is to retrieve as much data as possible using every single sensor.

The students hope to analyse the results to determine the effect on the International Space Station from a solar flare and any other unforeseen circumstances during Yass High School’s fifteen minute window.

Each student in the ISTEM class took charge of a particular sensor to ensure the code was functional and will take accurate measurements.

The Yass High School experiment is now in the testing phase with Cuberider and NASA, and will soon be loaded on the SpaceX CRS12 rocket for the August 15 launch.

Yass High student Millicent Duncan said that she “[couldn’t] wait to get the results; hopefully we can capture a solar flare.” 

Other students voiced their excitement about the project, Amy Halley said that “This was an amazing experience, and I learnt a lot!” Harley Garside agreed, and stated that she was “excited for the next experiment.” 

Charlie Johnson summarised the group’s sentiment; he believes that “everyone should be doing ISTEM. It’s awesome.” 

 – Nick Biddle

Yass High School STEM teacher

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