Tuesday 2nd May Mission Discovery


Michael Breen, Vice Principal Finance and College Systems and Gavin Murray Director STEM from Ayrshire College delivered a fascinating presentation on the Mission Discovery programme which is a week-long space school that gives Ayrshire youngsters the opportunity to work alongside NASA leaders will take place from 19-23 June at Ayrshire College’s Kilmarnock Campus.

Local aeronautical businesses NATS and the Glasgow Prestwick Spaceport have also agreed to sponsor the 2017 programme. Ayr Rotary Club will sponsor Friday’s activities which involves S3 and S4 pupils coming along to a Mission Discovery taster event.

The Ayrshire College Foundation was set up to advance education by providing financial support for projects and activities carried out and supported by Ayrshire College which hosted the educational programme last year at its Ayr Campus. This year, the event will be held at the college’s new campus in Kilmarnock that opened in October 2016.

Michael and Gavin stated how proud they were because the Mission Discovery programme was such a major success when it came to Ayrshire for the first time last year.

200 selected secondary school pupils and college students took part across the week, working in teams to propose viable experiments to take place in space. The winning idea – which looked at the speed of slime mould on different materials in space – is to be launched to the International Space Station this year.

The programme is delivered by a team of space experts at the International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET), and former NASA astronaut Michael Foale CBE will once again be involved with Mission Discovery Ayrshire 2017.

Michael Breen, President Harry & Gavin Murray

Fifty secondary school pupils from each of East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire and South Ayrshire , and 50 pupils from Ayrshire College, will be recruited for the space school and will work in teams to enhance their team building skills.

Michael stated that Principal Heather Dunk has publicly thanked the Ayrshire College Foundation, Glasgow Prestwick Spaceport, NATS and the Ayr Rotary Club for sponsoring Mission Discovery Ayrshire, which will raise the aspirations of young people by giving them the opportunity to work alongside NASA leaders.

A competition was organised for Ayrshire primary schools to design a Mission Patch for the Mission Discovery Ayrshire 2017 programme. Charlotte Grainger of Monkton Primary School won with her half and half design, which will be used throughout the week and will accompany the winning experiment on its journey to the International Space Station in 2018. Such was the interest in this absorbing topic, President Harry Peters had to call a halt to the many questions.

Rotarian Alistair Tyre gave a worthy vote of thanks.