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Reaching for the stars

DEEPA ONKAR

A team of 36 students from two schools visited the space centres at Houston and Orlando in the U.S.



At NASA: An exciting experience.

The excitement was evident on their faces, even if it was on recall. Thirty six students of Stds. IX and XI of the Maharishi Vidya Mandir S.S.S., and the Maharishi International Residential School, Sriperumpudur, shared their thoughts about their visit to space centres at Houston and Orlando in the U.S.

Projects and visits

The five-day programme at NASA included projects such as Mars landing, video presentation, Rover design and Parts testing, Rover construction, Rocket design, Glider project… gave them a hint of the space sciences.

The students were divided into five teams for the projects.

The students very soon got to experience a simulation of ‘zero gravity' at the Neutral Buoyancy laboratory. Siddarth of Std. XI said that the Physics they learnt in the classroom was directly experienced in their experiments.

Of the projects, the most interesting were the Moon and Mars

Rover construction, in which the teams had to exercise their engineering skills. The students had to use their intuition in order to construct models of these machines. They unanimously voted this the most exciting of all projects.

The students made presentations on themes as varied as communication, safety on rocket launch, and the minerals of mars.

The trip ended with the students receiving their certificates of merit, and the winning team getting the gold medal for their excellent project demonstration.

Mrs. V.Shankari, a teacher accompanying them, said that the visit truly opened up the students' horizons, both in terms of science and socially. Mr. G.Santhana Krishnan, their Physics teacher, said that the students had an invaluable opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills.

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