On 27-29th October, 2017 we organized a school trip to Izmir Space Camp with our 6th graders. Under the motto "Future Leaders Are Born Here”, space camp presented everything that our students are curious about to experience. The students joined different activities with educational simulators developed by NASA. In addition to this, they did some activities to improve their team-working and leadership skills. All of these activities increased the “space technologies” awareness of the students.
The students had lots of fun while using these simulators. It was a very exciting experience for them to use the “Manned Maneuvering Unit” which was previously used in space by NASA astronauts and was brought to space camp. On the other hand, it was great to experience the Multi-Exis Trainer-“MAT” which gives information about the loss of sense of direction, the “1/6 Gravity Chair” which gives the sense of moving on the Moon and the “Zero Gravity Wall” which proves Newton’s Laws for the students who will be the scientists of the future.
The most significant mission was the one in which 62 students in groups of 5 as “Saturn”, “Neptune” and “Pluto”, accomplished the “Space Shuttle Discovery” Mission. During this mission some of the students were pilots, cargo experts, scientists in the flight crew; the others were in the ground control centre as flight managers, scientists and public relations experts. They also had the chance to visit the planetarium, created by a virtual sky, and the “Magical Sphere”. Furthermore, they explored the Moon’s surface through a telescope.
At the end of the camp, our students received their “Space Camp Training” certificates and attended the “Space Camp Graduation Ceremony”. It was a wonderful and unique experience that satisfied all facets of students’ curiosity.