In June, a fantastic team of 8 students took part in the Mission Discovery event at Ayr College, working with astronauts. They worked in different teams to produce an invention that could be launched into space for research.
Megan Niven (5D2) and Ryan Williamson (6D2) were on teams that made it to the all-Ayrshire final!
Meanwhile, Craig Young (6D1) had a fantastic experience at the Scottish Space School and Rory MacAskill (6F) fuelled his passion at the Glasgow University Particle Physics Masterclass.
Students accounts are below:
Mission Discovery - Megan Niven
Eight Marr students including myself were given the fantastic opportunity to attend a week working alongside other selected pupils from around Ayrshire and even some employees of NASA!
In the five day-long programme, we were introduced to astronaut Michael Foale (OBE) who told us many stories about how his journey led him into space six times.
Through listening to his advice each of the 23 teams were set a challenge of planning an experiment to be carried out on the International Space Station by a chosen astronaut.
It was a very worthwhile experience, where each and every pupil gained great experience in areas such as teamwork, communication and even in developing future career plans.
On the last day, two teams that included Marr College students made it to the final and were runners up in the overall competition!
Scottish Space School - Craig Young
When I first decided to apply for the Scottish Space School, I thought I would be met with a long and tedious application form, but it was actually very simple, and contained some interesting questions that I enjoyed answering. Once everyone who had obtained a place was told via e-mail, a Facebook group was set up which allowed everyone to stay informed about the event, and also to get to know each other a bit before we arrived which thankfully replaced any awkward introductions.
When we got there on the Sunday, the first night was spent mainly on teambuilding exercises and introductions to the astronauts and engineers that would be with us for the week; who were very helpful answering any questions we had on the tasks we were set and also on their ground-breaking field of work. The rest of the week was spent on different activities, such as building gunpowder rockets, making a heart-rate monitor and taking part in the Mars Rover challenge. Throughout the week, we also had to work as a team of ten on our big and small projects which took a lot of time, but were very interesting as they concerned potential future missions to Mars and looking at improving the quality of life aboard the International Space Station.
We also spent some time working on our open mic night performance for the Wednesday night which was a lot of fun. On the final night they set up a ceilidh with a live band which was great and a really suitable way to round off the week. The five days we spent there were residential and the halls and food that we were provided with were excellent, as were the mentors and staff that helped us during the week in the challenges and projects.
I thoroughly recommend Space School to anyone who is interested in a career in engineering, and also to those who are unsure what they want to do in the future as Strathclyde provide a short insight into some of the courses that take place at the university.