Podcast: Australian Virtual Astronaut Challenge : Fizzics Education


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Podcast: Australian Virtual Astronaut Challenge

Podcast: Australian Virtual Astronaut Challenge


Do you think you’re isolated? Try being in space!
The Australian Virtual Astronaut Challenge aims to engage students in a design thinking process for solving a lunar plant growth challenge. We chat with Dr Scott Sleap, project leader for the STEM Industry School Partnerships (SISP) program and Ted Tagami, cofounder of Magnitude and User Advisory Committee – Education Chair at ISS US National Lab.

Hosted by Ben Newsome from Fizzics Education

More about the Australian Virtual Astronaut Challenge

Full details here

You are part of a team of astronauts creating a Family Home Outpost (FHO) on the Moon.
How do survive? How do you thrive?
Solve the problems that astronauts face in this Australian Virtual Astronaut (AVA) Challenge.

Mission Brief

Your team are on the Moon. You need to produce food in order to support life on the Moon.

  • How are we going to sustainably grow food on the Moon?
  • How do we ensure this food is nutritious?
  • How can the environment affect your food?
  • How can the food be stored?
  • Does the food produce enough energy?

Design an experiment, device or environment that can grow food on the Moon.

Engineering challenges

  • Radiation
  • Dust
  • Vacuum
  • Lack of resources

You have 6 weeks!

  • Assess your resources
  • Identify the problem
  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Produce potential solutions

Read about the challenge here

About Dr Scott Sleap

Scott Sleap

Dr Scott Sleap led the development of the STEM Industry School Partnerships program for the NSW Department of Education in 2017. He is currently a STEM Project Adviser for the Educational Standards Directorate, where he is responsible for the coordination of the program. Regarded as a visionary educator he was the first Technology teacher to win the prestigious Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence for Secondary Science Teaching. In 2020 Dr Sleap was again recognised with a National Commonwealth Bank Teaching Fellowship. Previously he was awarded the title of National Teacher of the Year by the Australian Design and Technology Teachers Association (DATTA) and was inducted as one of only three national DATTA patrons. In 2019 he was appointed as a Cyber Security Ambassador for the NSW Cyber Security Innovation Node.

More details:

About Ted Tagami

Ted Tagami smiling in a red pullover

Having built and sold his first dotcom in the 1990’s, Ted has been building Internet relationships since 1994. With leading work at Knight Ridder Digital and global brand experience at digital agency Millions of Us, Ted brings a unique perspective to modern experiential learning through the implementation of science and engineering based on the Next Generation Science Standards.

More details:

With interviews with leading science educators and STEM thought leaders, this science education podcast is about highlighting different ways of teaching kids within and beyond the classroom. It’s not just about educational practice & pedagogy, it’s about inspiring new ideas & challenging conventions of how students can learn about their world!

Hosted by Ben Newsome

Ben Newsome


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