During Term 3, under the guidance of Ms Dina Phan, the Year 8 STEM elective class has been working on a Biodomes project that connects the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with building understanding of the significant importance and diverse career opportunities within the Space sector. The class has investigated some of the challenges that would need to be overcome through STEM approaches if (or when!) humans colonise Mars. A visit to the Australian Space Discovery Centre helped students to understand that the conditions in space and on Mars are vastly different to those here on Earth. Beyond the protection of Earth’s magnetic field, astronauts are exposed to much higher levels of cosmic radiation associated with solar winds. Students planned possibilities that could help support human survival under challenging conditions, such as thin atmosphere, high winds, large temperature fluctuations and high levels of UV radiation. Students trialled growing plants in hydroponic systems similar to those used on the International Space Station, and constructed geodesic domes in small scale prototypes and at a medium-large scale on the STEM balcony.

On Friday September 10th, the nine schools from across South Australia who are involved in this challenge gathered at Lot Fourteen and presented their findings and projects to each other and to representatives from the Andy Thomas Space Foundation and for the Minister for Education. Thank you very much to students Addison Godfrey, Anela Udovcic, Imogen Smith and Shayli Curtis who all represented Woodville High School exceptionally in their presentation.