NASA Space Center University chooses Aussie robotic tech learning solution

Stephen Kuper

An Australian company’s innovative educational system, which uses a small wheeled robot to teach the basics of robotics and coding, has been adopted by NASA’s Space Center University in Houston.

In a collaboration between Sydney-based Actura and NASA’s Space Center Houston, Actura’s FlipRobot Solution has been implemented at Space Center University (Space U) for the first time.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with Space Center Houston on robotic learning applications,” said David Sunton, Actura’s vice president for marketing and product management.

“We share a commitment to provide interactive, engaging and exciting STEAM programs underpinned by the foundations of the Seven Survival Skills by Dr Tony Wagner.

“This helps develop students’ interest in the areas of STEAM, leading students to utilise STEAM skills after high school. A new and renewed interest in these subjects will prepare young people for leading occupations of the future.”


Daniel Newmyer, Space Center Houston vice president of education, said, “We look forward to collaborating with CASE on delivering hands-on robotic opportunities for CASE Space School students as part of their Space University program.”

CASE is the California Association for STEAM Education, which promotes excellence in STEAM education. Actura is CASE’s global partner for marketing its Space School International Study Program, used by a number of schools in Australia.


The collaboration between Actura and Space Center Houston represents a unique union, with Actura’s FlipRobot Solution module designed specifically for the Space U Program.

That’s a five-day program designed to engage students in immersive STEAM-related activities that promote teamwork, problem-solving and engineering solutions to space exploration.

Thirty-seven Australian year 10-12 students participating in the CASE Space School International Study Program took part in the FlipRobot rover challenge – to build a rover module to collect samples from a Mars landscape in the shortest amount of time.

They learned how to apply different sensor technologies to help the rover traverse a simulated martian terrain intelligently. In addition, they used blockly and script programming to code the rover to complete different tasks.

Actura was established in 2014 to provide STEAM learning.

“Our FlipRobot range provides the ultimate robotic STEAM learning solution for the in-class environment. For the out-of-class solution, the CASE Space School International Study Program aims to deliver the best STEAM experience at the most inspiring organisation, NASA,” the company said.

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