• Here’s your chance to send an experiment into space!

    In an Australian-first, the International Space Station (ISS) has started preparations to host three STEM experiments created by DECD school students. The experiments will hitch a ride with Neumann Space, a South Australian start-up who have purchased 125kg of payload space on the ISS.

    The experiments will sit on a platform outside the ISS, while high-tech sensors and receptors stream data back to the schools in South Australia for recording and analysis. The experiments will be carried out over 12 months in 2019, before being jettisoned to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

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    • Upload Expression of Interest

    • Who can apply?

      Applications are open to all DECD primary schools, secondary schools and local partnerships. Professional expertise and industry links will be available to help students and teachers prepare submissions and designs.

      The size of individual student groups or classes will be determined by the schools or partnerships involved. Consideration will be given to applications from STEM learners underrepresented in STEM subjects, including Aboriginal learners and girls.

      Mission Information Evening

      More information and extra details, including opportunities for support for your EOI and experimental design, were presented at the Mission Information Evening. This was held on Tuesday 13 June from 5.30pm to 8pm at the Education Development Centre, 4 Milner St, Hindmarsh.

      Mission Information Evening notes are accessible here.

      • How to apply

        Stage 1: expression of interest (EOI)

        • Schools can submit a potential experiment by completing an expression of interest form, including principal endorsement, and returning it by 7 July 2017.
        • Neumann Space and DECD will give feedback about the experiment’s viability.
        • Expression of interest feedback will be returned by 24July 2017, and will inform stage 2 of the application.

        Stage 2: 5 minute multimedia presentation

        • Submitted by 20 September 2017.
        • The presentation will be supported by a 3 to 8 page portfolio.
        • Presentations to be showcased at the 68th International Astronautical Congress, held in Adelaide from September 25 to 29.

        Six presentations will be shortlisted by a panel of space industry experts. The 6 short-listed experimental lead schools will be announced by Monday 30 October. These Schools will pregress to the prototype design and testing stage (test and improve), from which 3 successful entries will be selected for launch.

        • Experimental essentials

          The experimental theme is ‘Innovation for a better future’, and experimental design must be aligned with the Australian Curriculum or SACE.

          A comprehensive list of area of space investigation and specific experiments already in place can be found on the NASA website.

          Specifications for the SA Schools Space Mission include that experiments:

          • will be supplied with data (ethernet), power (12V or 28V) and potential heating and cooling
          • are non-returnable (all data will be collected by sensors and streamed back to earth)
          • must weigh less than 300g and fit within a volume roughly equal to a 1 litre milk carton
          • must be able to survive launching forces and space environmental factors including:
            • G forces up to 7.5g, similar to the common theme park ride the Tower of Terror
            • temperatures between -20 and +50 degrees Celsius
            • impact forces equivalent to dropping the experiment from a height of 20cm onto carpet
            • galactic cosmic rays (multiple forms of radiation) broadly equivalent to the expected radiation dose from 15000 chest X rays.

          Some specialised resources (eg radiation resistant equipment) will be purchased from Neumann Space to ensure successful integration into the payload and experimental survival.

          Final experimental presentations will be made at a statewide showcase after the 12 month space mission is complete.

          Judging criteria

          Judging rubrics will be developed in partnership with DECD staff, Neumann Space, industry and tertiary representatives.

          Stage 1 expressions of interest will be judged on:

          • compliance with the physical and safety criteria (mass/volume/materials etc)
          • linkages to the Australian Curriculum/SACE
          • innovative potential to support a better Earth in the future.

          Stage 2 presentations and portfolios will be judged on:

          • demonstration of STEM learning across a range of disciplines
          • development of the idea through the engineering design process or similar framework
          • linkages to industry and tertiary institutions
          • practicality of the idea and usefulness to society
          • accessibility and usefulness of data to experimental hubs and industry partners.

          • Funding support

            The payload cost for the final 3 experiments will be paid for by DECD.

            A range of additional funding support will also be available for the 6 shortlisted lead schools, including:

            • funding for resources to build experiments and test for space-worthiness
            • negotiated travel expenses for regional teachers and students to participate in excursions and events.

            Professional development and support (including TRT release) will be available to the 6 shortlisted experimental lead schools for:

            • briefing schools and partnerships on experimental limitations, safety protocols and timelines
            • support for quality assurance of STEM-linked curriculum
            • support for Earth-based testing of experiments.

            • Background

              The SA Schools Space Mission provides South Australian students with an unparalleled opportunity to send physical experiments into space through the Neumann Space Facility for Australian Space Testing (FAST) program.

              Opportunities will be available for educators and students to partner with industry, universities, and the wider space community to support schools in their experimental development and outcomes.

              Experimental hubs will be formed around each of the 6 experimental lead schools for greater data analysis. All SA Schools Space Mission data will be available to all DECD schools through a Moodle website, to maximise potential STEM learning.

              • Mission Information Evening

                Mission Information Evening - Tuesday 13 June 2017  

                Venue:  Education Development Centre, Room G1.11A, 4 Milner St, Hindmarsh

                MC:       Ms Sarah Baker/Mr Rodney Mangos



                pdf Files



                Arrival, check-in and networking

                Tea and coffee on arrival


                DECD – STEM Learning

                Ms Cezanne Green

                Director Secondary Learners



                Mr Nicola Sasanelli

                Director, Research & Development, International Collaboration, Defence SA




                Ms Katherine Pegg

                Project Manager & System Engineer (ISS Evolutions & Commercial Applications) Airbus Defence and Space



                Neumann Space FAST Program

                Dr Patrick Neumann

                Neumann Space Chief Scientist


                Mission Design Process

                Mr Rodney Mangos

                Executive Leader Secondary Learners



                Coffee and refreshments sponsored by Advanced Technology Project


                Mission Overview

                Mr Oliver Grenfell

                Neumann Space Lab Engineer


                Potential experiments & Curriculum links

                Mr Rodney Mangos

                Executive Leader Secondary Learners


                Application Process

                Dr Sarah Baker

                ATP Curriculum Manager



                Dr Sarah Baker

                ATP Curriculum Manager


                Networking and formal close

                Mr Rodney Mangos

                Executive Leader Secondary Learners

                • Contact

                  SA Schools Space Mission