When you first see Star Wars, you immediately dream of the day you will get a chance to go to space. Astronauts travel to the International Space Station to work on tasks designed to give mankind a better understanding of what life can be like in space, in hopes to give you a chance to go to space one day.
How do they do this? Well, scientific instruments give us a sense of how material behave in weightlessness and show us how we can improve materials here on Earth. Cameras provide us with an insight into what is going on around our planet environmentally, scanning equipment that measures depths of sea levels to give us a sense of what is going on underneath the oceans, and many more such tasks which give us an insight into both our planet and what is "out there"
However, space is a hostile environment for mankind. In order to protect themselves and to carry out external experiments and repairs on the ISS, astronauts need to wear special suits. The essentials are oxygen, water and keeping their temperatures constant (space can be as cold as -270 degrees Celsius!). There is no air in space, in fact, it is a vacuum.
In this Challenger lesson, students learned about the hostile environment of space and how astronauts survive. Space Exploration is challenging and whilst science fiction makes it look very exciting, it is very challenging. Space suits have evolved over the years and today they are exceptionally advanced for astronauts to survive many hours outside the space station.
Students were challenged to construct an astronaut's suit with recycled materials in under 30 minutes!
Ms. Hartevelt spent 11 years working at the European Space Agency in the Netherlands where she was involved in designing and developing education content related to astronaut missions to the International Space Station. She was also the education supervisor of the ESA space camps where children aged 8-17 did fun things for 2 weeks all related to space. She has been teaching since she left university and has a passion for science and all things which affect our planet.
This led her to take up some challenging roles both as a teacher in several countries (UK, Belgium and now The Netherlands).
In her free time, Ms. Hartevelt likes to hike on the mountains and she loves cooking!
A huge thank you to Ms Hartevelt for giving the student a remarkable presentation.