Northumberland students enjoy out of this world experience with former NASA expert

Students from eight Northumberland schools took part in an out of this world experience thanks to the Aldrin Family Foundation.

Thursday, 28th October 2021, 11:47 am
Students from Northumberland at the space talk given by Jim Christensen, a workshop leader for Aldrin Family Foundation.
Students from Northumberland at the space talk given by Jim Christensen, a workshop leader for Aldrin Family Foundation.

Jim Christensen, a workshop leader for Aldrin Family Foundation and former director of education at the Kennedy Space Centre visited the county to share stories from his experiences of working for NASA and showcasing his Mars and Moon map resources, all with an aim to enthuse students about careers in the space sector.

He said: “One of my favourite things in the world is to share the excitement of space with students. The students were outstanding in their willingness to listen and engage in thinking about their possible future related to space. As I talked to them, I had a strong sense of their nearly unlimited potential.

“I believe these students will do incredible things in the future. The goal of the Aldrin Family Foundation is to inspire the next generation of space explorers. I feel like we made excellent progress.”

Schools which took part were: Glendale Middle School in Wooler, Haydon Bridge Community High School and Sports College, NCEA Duke's Secondary School in Ashington, Whytrig Community Middle School in Seaton Delaval, Dr Thomlinson Church of England Middle School in Rothbury, Ponteland High School, Ponteland Primary School and Highfield Middle School in Prudhoe.

Cllr Guy Renner-Thompson, cabinet member with responsibility for children’s services at Northumberland County Council, said: “What a truly great experience this was for our young people. We can’t thank Jim enough for giving his time to inspire the next generation of space enthusiasts.

“Our education team are committed to finding new and exciting opportunities for those children and young people interested in STEM education and this is just one of those steps in the right direction.”

The visit was facilitated by RTC North who run the North East STEM hub. This is the second time they have visited the region hoping to inspire and educate the next generation of space explorers.

What was originally planned as a one-day event had to be extended to two days to accommodate the interest from Northumberland’s students.

The events were made possible thanks to RTC North’s STEM Team.

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