14 Feb 2018

Wednesday 14 February 2018

Last year in November, 20 King’s students journeyed to Orlando, Florida to take part in the Robotics and Rocketry Camp at the Kennedy Space Center, as a Physics and Mathematics Enrichment Trip to NASA 2017. 

Nasa Enrichment Trip


Head of Mathematics Steve Kiesanowski and Head of Physics Bryan Sapsworth, facilitated the trip and were thrilled with the maturity and leadership the students displayed.

“The trip was a great success and it was fantastic to see each student take on the challenges that the camp presented,” says Bryan Sapsworth.

With a bursting schedule, the first five days were spent hearing from astronauts, visiting launch pads and completing multiple robotics challenges. Following on from this, the students were treated to the Universal Studios, Indoor Sky diving and an Orlando Magic NBA game. 

Fiona Leng (Year 12, Taylor) loved the experience and recommends the opportunity to any other students with an interest in robotics.

“It was a trip to remember,” says Fiona. “I loved the rockets, astronauts, adventures and alligators on the road!” 

The success of this trip now means that a second trip to NASA is on the schedule for 2018, with a camp confirmed for November.

A summary of Mr Sapsworth’s daily blogs:

Day One: The first day included an introduction to programming and learning how to calibrate and code a robot tank. The students were then taken on a tour around the ‘NASA Now’ display, showcasing the actual capsules used for space missions. The afternoon was dedicated to making robots move around a course, proving a fun challenge for the students to get warmed up for the week.

Day Two: The second day saw the students tour a rocket garden to understand the evolution of the NASA rocket programme and learn about how NASA launched the first man into space. The afternoon included a robot competition and a tour of a building used to assemble Space Shuttles.

Day Three: Day three was the last day of robotics. The students were led through advanced programming and the use of a robotic arm.

Day Four: On day five the students started rocketry.They used water rockets that had been modified to include some soft-landing apparatus and specially printed nozzles. The students then had a go at launching their rockets in the afternoon.

Day Five: Day five included a class room session on advanced lab software. The students were able to work in teams and everyone had a chance to have a say. The afternoon was all about astronauts and the qualities they require. Students had a chance to hear stories from a range of different astronauts to understand the fascinating story behind the race to space.