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Australian high school students taught space skills

Australian high school students taught space skills

Students in two Australian high schools are being given the chance to learn practical space industry skills from Boeing employees.

The Future U program is a collaboration between the aerospace giant, the University of South Australia and the federal government’s Regional Development Australia, an initiative aimed at boosting opportunities in rural areas.

It will initially be rolled out to pupils in years 7-10 at Queensland’s Aviation High School and NSW’s Catherine McAuley Catholic College, before undergoing trials later this year in select schools in South Australia.

Sandra James, senior manager of University Relations and STEM for Boeing in Australia, said, “We’ve learned from more than 17 years supporting the Aerospace Gateway Schools program that the best way to optimise children’s learning is to make it easily accessible for teachers to apply in their classroom.


“By tailoring our content into the national curriculum, we’re hoping to expose students early to key skills and knowledge that capture the hearts and minds of future space leaders and innovators and grow our talent pipeline.”

Throughout the lessons, students were given the opportunity to create and trial spacecraft, examine how welding is employed in the space industry and work in a lunar gateway base. The lessons were instructed as a collaboration between teachers and Boeing. 

“Providing the tools to engage students in real-life practical scenarios beyond what they see in movies or TV, has made the possibility of a career in the space industry very real for them,” Luke Kelleher, leader of learning – Science and Mathematics at Catherine McAuley Catholic College.

Already, 180 students trialled the piloted scheme as part of Regional Development Australia’s ME program. Under the ME program, the 180 year 7 students from the Hunter Region in NSW were taught about pathways in Australia’s defence industry.


“The Future U lesson plans also expand on scientific knowledge to include communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity which are equally essential to working in groundbreaking teams,” said Rick Evans, manager of Skilled Workforce Programs for RDA Hunter.

“Future U is an ideal vehicle to attract talent to Australia’s Department of Defence, defence industries and to build our space sovereignty.”


Adam Thorn

Adam Thorn

Adam is a journalist who has worked for more than 40 prestigious media brands in the UK and Australia. Since 2005, his varied career has included stints as a reporter, copy editor, feature writer and editor for publications as diverse as Fleet Street newspaper The Sunday Times, fashion bible Jones, media and marketing website Mumbrella as well as lifestyle magazines such as GQ, Woman’s Weekly, Men’s Health and Loaded. He joined Momentum Media in early 2020 and currently writes for Australian Aviation and World of Aviation.

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