Kids from across the UK enjoy space summer camp with JET to Space
25 students from across the UK had the opportunity of a lifetime in summer 2022, with an invitation to join an immersive four-day residential space camp in Cornwall. The camp was hosted by the Jon Egging Trust, RAF St Mawgan and Spaceport Cornwall, and supported by Virgin Orbit and Goonhilly Earth Station.
The JET to Space programme aimed itself at schools in areas of high deprivation across the UK and was open to students aged 12 to 14. Students from schools in Bradford, Bristol, London and Cornwall all attended the camp. Funding for JET to Space came from Virgin Unite and Virgin Orbit, to help inspire young people to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Over the four-day residential, students took part in STEM-based activities, including rocket experiments, robotics experiences, and a programming challenge. They also went on a behind the scenes tour of Spaceport Cornwall, a tour of Goonhilly Earth Station, and took part in a Q&A with Flight Lieutenant Matthew Stannard, Virgin Orbit’s chief pilot, and launch engineer Dayle Alexander.
Science Technician, Stacey Wheeler, from Mounts Bay Academy in Penzance says the win will have a positive ripple effect across the school. She believes that the opportunity will benefit the students in ‘a million ways’. She said: “The space camp will improve their confidence, team skills and much more, but above all, I really think it will help their self-belief. And, they really do deserve it.”
JET to Space wasn’t just about inspiring the students who were fortunate enough to take part in the camp though – all of the schools who entered had the opportunity to join Spaceport Cornwall for a Countdown to Launch event ahead of the first Virgin Orbit mission from the UK.
The teachers who attended the residential with their students noted the benefits of connecting with like-minded educators and have started working on programmes to continue to share ideas. Teachers are also looking at how they can incorporate what they learnt from the programme into their lessons – especially to inform the science curriculum.
Visit the Jon Egging Trust to find out more.