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International Space Station Challenge STEM Club

International Space Station Challenge STEM Club

The European Astro Pi Challenge offers young people the amazing opportunity to conduct scientific investigations in space by writing computer programs that run on Raspberry Pi computers aboard the International Space Station. Astro Pi is an ESA Education project run in collaboration with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. 

Phase 1

From early September 2019 both myself, Mr Wentworth and Neston High STEM club have been busy coming up with possible experiments that would be carried out on the International Space Station (ISS) by developing a computer program that will run the experiment using a program called Raspberry Pi. The ideas that the teams came up with are the following: Experiment 1 Measuring  Temperature, Pressure and Humidity. Experiment 2 Does the Magnetic Field change the accelerometer within the ISS. We submitted the experimental designs to Astro Pi on the 25th October 2019 and eagerly waited to see whether our designs were good enough. Early November we received confirmation that we had made it to Phase 2! 

Phase 2 

From early November this was about building our computer program and to iron out any potential problems that we came across so that it would be accepted onto the next phase. Astronauts are always very busy, so the Phase 2 experiments will be run on the ISS Astro Pi as part of an automated deployment schedule. Therefore, our program needed to meet some simple requirements so that it can be controlled automatically. We submitted our programs on the 14th February 2020 and eagerly waited for confirmation to see if it has made it to the next stage, which is Phase 3. Early April I received confirmation that both our programs that the students devised during STEM club have made it to phase 3. Here is the email stating: 

“We are delighted to tell you that Neston STEM Club 3's Mission Space Lab experiment has achieved FLIGHT STATUS! Congratulations. You and your team should feel extremely proud. Your experiment, along with the 207 others that have been selected, will start running on the ISS on 8 April 2020. We will download and send your data back to you in early May.”

“We are delighted to tell you that Neston STEM Club 2's Mission Space Lab experiment has achieved FLIGHT STATUS! Congratulations. You and your team should feel extremely proud. Your experiment, along with the 207 others that have been selected, will start running on the ISS on 8 April 2020. We will download and send your data back to you in early May.”

Phase 3

During this Phase our two teams experiments will run on the ISS starting the 8th April 2020 where it will download data collected for our teams to analysis and start to write their final report, which is the last phase in the Mission Space Lab Challenge! The report has to be sent to Astro Pi on the 27th May 2020 to see whether our experiments have been successful from the data we received from the ISS and in June 2020 the winners of Mission Space Lab will be announced. The only problem that we have to overcome now, is social distancing!

Stem Club members are:

• Samual Armstrong 

• Nia Bottom 

• Laney Bottom 

• Alastair Bryce

• Wlliam Hammond - Langley 

• Gabrial Masser

• Charlie Mealor 

• Daniel Powl - 6th Form helper 

• George Roe 

• Thomas Sanderson

• Molly Sullivan

• Tom Vine