Year 12 Physics students at Cowes Enterprise College, which is sponsored by Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT), have today had the unique opportunity to participate on a live video conference, speaking directly with two European Space Agency astronauts, both of whom have spent time on the International Space Station.
The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity came as a result of the six students, Ewan, Jamie, Shane, Asen, Kiera and Sam, being crowned the UK winners for the European Space Agency’s Moonbase design competition.
The contest required competitors to design a 3D lunar camp to host future ‘moonauts’. Creations came from 39 countries across the globe, with 1417 pupils participating. Cowes Enterprise College entered six Year 12 Physics students with the team name ‘Project Sequana’. They beat 92 other teams in their age category to win and were the only UK team to get into the top three in any category.
Alongside well-known astronauts Samantha Cristoforetti and Luca Parmitano, Project Sequana joined other winning teams from all over the world and had the chance to ask the astronauts questions about their time in space, gaining a first hand-insight. The webinar was livestreamed on the ESA’s YouTube channel which has nearly 1 million subscribers.
Cowes Enterprise College Principal, Rachel Kitley said: “We are all incredibly proud of our students for doing so exceptionally well in the competition and securing today’s unique and truly inspiring opportunity. They are a credit to Cowes Enterprise College and their pioneering efforts have put the school and the Island on world stage.
“It has been such a special opportunity for the students to represent the UK amongst the winning teams, and to speak directly to some incredibly inspiring astronauts, an experience that they will share with their peers and I’m sure hold fond for many years to come.”
Nick Hudson, Chief Executive Officer, Ormiston Academies Trust, said: “Opportunities such as these are critical for ensuring that we are doing all we can raise to our students aspirations and broaden their horizons, so that they are equipped with the platforms, opportunities and experiences which will help them to fulfil their potential. We are extremely proud – well done to Ewan, Jamie, Shane, Asen, Kiera and Sam from everyone across the Ormiston family”.