Welcome to our first newsletter of 2021.
I would like to begin this issue with a Tribute to Tom Nolan. Tom was diagnosed with a most aggressive form of brain cancer one month after he retired from NASA JPL last January. The news was devastating. One Giant Leap Australia and Tom had worked together on some incredible plans and we were looking forward to building capacity of the ‘Space, STEM and Your Future’ program. Tom passed away 6 pm on 31st December 2020 from pneumonia. You can read his tribute and if you wish to contribute to the Australian Tom Nolan INSPIRE Scholarship fund you are very welcome to. Our thoughts are with his wife and family.
Our current projects
What’ll happen to the wattle??!
There are presently a few schools on the reserve list. We have been approached by several schools that feel like they have ‘missed the boat’. We set a deadline last year so that schools would be excited about the program and watch the rocket launch our seeds to space. We knew that there would be other schools wanting to do this project and so we are now creating a ‘wait list’. There are kits available for distribution and once we are aware of EXACTLY how many seeds that have been to space, we can then enact both lists.
If you are a school, community group (Girl Guides, Scouts, Air Cadets, horticultural group, etc) or a university group with an interest – please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Please be aware that the kits costs $220 (including GST). We do have some kits that have been sponsored for groups who may be bushfire or COVID affected so please reach out.
Asian Herb in Space (AHiS)
In this mission, basil seeds will be grown in the Kibo module and returned for analysis by Japanese and Malaysian researchers. Videos and other resources will support the groups in the program.
One Giant Leap Australia Foundation will provide Australian students and young researchers an education kit that will be used to conduct a ground control experiment using the basil seeds provided by JAXA. It has all the Australian Curriculum links included and has been developed by a team of highly experienced, Australian specialist practicing science and STEM teachers. The cost of the growing kit (including postage) is $110 with GST added.
Participants will be provided with an education program, teleconferences, resources that will assist with conducting the experiment and gathering data through our AHiS website. This program will run for 6 months and is a wonderful unit to complement space or plants with any grade.
This is also a citizen science opportunity so if your child or family wish to participate – register now. All data will be shared with JAXA and we can contribute to the data being collected about growing food in space.
We have a limited number of kits left so please register today.
Kibo Robot Programming Challenge
We are about to announce the second challenge for the KIBO Robot Programming Challenge. Schools and universities are so excited that we have teams registering BEFORE they even know what the problem is they have to solve!
If you followed the story last year – we ran Kibo RPC for the first time in the WORLD. Yes – a brand new competition that is fully virtual. Ultimately teams will battle it out onboard the International Space Station. You may wish to have a look at the video – we were linked with Chris Cassidy (NASA astronaut) as we ran the competition for 5 hours in the Kibo module on the ISS. Congratulations to Galen Vex – the Australian representative team. They were only one of three groups that actually completed the challenge in real time on the ISS.
If you love programming and want to challenge yourself to an ‘out of this world experience – grab a team and register here. You are permitted to have a university team as long as no one has graduated! You can have a team manager that is a university student – schools this could be a good program to link with a university. Universities – this could be a good chance to link with a number of schools!
Learn more – https://iss.jaxa.jp/en/kuoa/krpc/
The Gadget Girlz formed to compete in the Kibo Robot Programming Challenge and now have decided to expand. There is a drone team forming and I am sure there will be at least one Kibo team!
It is free membership on there are at east 16 teleconferences lined up this year – from planetary protection to archaeology. There will be something that interests everyone.
4 levels of membership:
For example, a teacher may wish to join. She would join as an Industry member.
There will be a timetable published shortly on the website and you can choose time commitments, presentations, discussions. It is very casual and lots of fun!
Any questions? Please email email@example.com
NASA Scientist for a day
It is now time for the new NASA Scientist for a day competition. We had an 800% increase in participation last year and we believe it will be as popular as ever.
It is FREE and open to all students from Year 5 to Year 11. All the details are on our website.
Essays are 300 words and teachers may set the task in school or as an extra-curricular task.
Entries are open now and close on April 1st, 2021, 5 pm SYDNEY time.
‘Greetings from Space’ Project
This project is so new it isn’t on our website yet!
So, we have been working on an idea of sending postcards to space. We will have a limited number that can be launched (due to weight restrictions) and there is also not a lot of time. We need to have the postcards back to us by midnight 26th February.
Cost is $2.20 per postcard. Each postcard has a $1.10 stamp on it – ready to be mailed back from space! The front of the postcard is yours to design. It would be a fantastic class activity. We have printed off a few hundred postcards so – it really is limited. Imagine your postcard coming back from space – it is then space flight heritage and we will certify it for you.
If you are local to us, we can deliver your cards, if not, we will post to you (postage is extra). It is then your responsibility to get the cards back to us by the end of February. We have to get the cards to Germany by mid-March!
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘Greetings from Space’ detailing how many cards you wish to order.
The Tulsi Project
This project is in the planning stages. It will involve growing holy basil and partnering with a school in India. You will be provided with an education guide, kit, teleconferences and other amazing opportunities. Cost could be around $110 (including GST). If you would like to be part of this – email email@example.com subject heading ‘The Tulsi Project’ and I will send you more information as it comes to hand. This will be a collaboration with a university in India and has a focus on community, agriculture, space, Mars, tolerance, cultures and collaboration. Limited to 30 schools ONLY.
Teacher Professional Development
We will be running some teacher Professional Development throughout Term 1. Given the COVID situation, teachers will be provided with a kit to take away and will be asked to leave all resources used for us to dispose of. The current plan is Richmond, Dubbo, Wagga and Bathurst. Dates to be advised.
If you are interested in building Mars Rovers, being on Mars and blasting off to space – this could be something for you. We will create bespoke programs for groups – 3 hours after school to a full day experience – depends on the requests. Email us and we will then start planning with you. firstname.lastname@example.org with subject heading ‘Teacher Professional Development’.
BYOD (Bring Your Own Drone)
We will be running a drone event at Hawkesbury Model Air Sports on March 6th. Everyone is welcome and you can bring your own drone or try and fly one that is available on the day.
Keep an eye on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages for more information very soon.
If you are interested in drones, drop us an email email@example.com and we could run a drone academy in the not-too-distant future.
Space for a day – Mars
We will be advertising our Space for a day – Mars day for students in Year 4 to Year 7 very soon. It is a Creative Kids activity, meaning that you can use the NSW Creative Kids voucher for our day. Dates and venues will be announced shortly. Keep an eye on our social media as well as our events section of our website.
Podcasts, teleconferences and news
We have 2 YouTube channels and also news sections in both our websites. Please check and see what is happening! The news gets updated regularly and very soon we will be producing podcasts with some very special presenters. They have been working very hard to plan and record the podcasts so keep an eye out for that.
Our free teleconference program will kick off in March with Todd Barber presenting about Perseverance and Ingenuity. Mike Kimes, as usual, working hard to bring our teleconferences alive. I will post the date and time on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Our news is being updated all the time. It is a constant source of up-to-date information from around the world on all things space. Check it out often – you will be surprised what has been reported!
One of our really long-term supporters is Jeff Bethell. He works for a company named C R Kennedy and he is often sponsoring students or contributing to make people’s lives better. It is an honour to work with Jeff and we are proud of our achievements together. Many of our students and schools have benefitted from Jeff’s generosity.
Here are some links to Jeff’s contribution to One Giant Leap Australia Foundation and the work we do. Without Jeff’s support, these things would not have happened.
We want to shout out to Jeff and say a huge thanks!