An experiment designed by school children at an event held at Cranfield University was launched for the International Space Station at the weekend.

The winning experiment, designed by students at Kimberley STEM College and Shenley Brook End, looks at how ionic fluids behave in micro-gravity. It is entirely automated and will return data to earth for the students to interpret on an almost live basis. 

Local secondary schools had the opportunity to work with NASA record-breaking astronaut, British born Michael Foale, CBE at Cranfield University. Hosted by Cranfield’s Operations Excellence Institute (OpEx) and developed by Penarth-based International Space School Education Trust (ISSET), the aim of Mission Discovery is to promote scientific understanding, along with personal development skills such as leadership and team building, to the next generation of scientists.

The students worked in teams to design scientific experiments which could be built and launched to the International Space Station (ISS).

The winning team beat more than 60 students from 20 schools in Beds, Bucks and Cambridgeshire.

Dr Paul Jones from Cranfield University’s Surface Engineering and Nanotechnology Institute said: “Cranfield University is very excited to be involved with Mission Discovery. It was a great opportunity to inspire young people to get involved in engineering and we look forward to seeing the results of the experiment.”

The winning team called ‘Positive Charge’ were Matthew Douse, Thomas Scott and Jamie Heathcote from Shenley Brook School and William Johnson from Wootton Upper School, Milton Keynes.

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.