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Upper secondary school pupils dived into the world of nanosatellites

New space missions were created on the basis of the Aalto satellites in the course organised by LUMA Centre Aalto.

Finland was already close to entering the space age when the upper secondary school pupils familiarised themselves with the Aalto-1 and Aalto-2 satellites, designed and built at Aalto University. Aalto-2 was launched into space a week after the end of the course. Pupils from the upper secondary schools of Olari, Pohjois-Tapiola and Etelä-Tapiola in Espoo took part in the Space and satellites course organised at LUMA Centre Aalto. During the course, the pupils familiarised themselves with space technology. For example, they built a satellite of their own and each group planned and introduced a space mission on the course. The course was held in Otaniemi on 6 and 7 April and on 10 and 11 April 2017.

Maria Vdovenko (in the photo left) from Olari upper secondary school and Suvi Karanta and Touko Johtimo from Tapiola upper secondary school presented their space mission enthusiastically. They had designed from beginning to end what task their nanosatellite would perform in space, from where it would obtain energy and how its antennas would open in space. They had familiarised themselves with the Aalto-1 and Aalto-2 satellites on the very first days of the course and had built a satellite of their own using Cubesat nanosatellite parts in the facilities of the Electric Workshop.

‘I am interested in space. For example, I have been following the journey of the Aalto satellites and SpaceX’, says Touko.

Suvi and Maria think along the same lines. The group members’ previous knowledge included an astronomy course, among other things.

During the course, the upper secondary school pupils also visited the Finnish Meteorological Institute, where they heard about Finnish participation in Mars missions, and the Metsähovi astronomical radio observatory, where they could familiarise themselves with the activity of the Sun.

‘The pupils on the course were very active and asked excellent questions. Space technology provides a good foundation for different professions. Hopefully, they will consider studying space technology as one of their options after this course’, says Professor Jaan Praks.

Pupils built a satellite of their own using Cubesat nanosatellite parts at Otaniemi.

Advanced courses are one-week intensive courses for upper secondary school pupils. The courses are taught by professors, researchers and teachers from Aalto University. Advanced courses provide an opportunity for pupils to familiarise themselves with the academic world while in upper secondary school.
LUMA Centre Aalto is a part of the national network of LUMA Centres. The network supports and advances the learning and teaching of natural sciences, mathematics, computer science and technology, as well as supporting interest in these fields of study among pupils and encouraging them to apply to study them. More information luma.aalto.fi

 

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