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Science teacher returns from space adventure

ONE small step for man, one giant leap for an Emmanuel Christian College science teacher.

Drew Roberts, a long-time teacher with a passion for science, has returned from a one-week trip to the United States Space and Rocket Centre in Alabama.

A recipient of the 2015 ASG Excellence in Teaching Awards, Mr Roberts was selected from 12-award winners to attend the International Space Camp and represent Australia alongside two ASG students.

The invite-only camp is held each year to encourage international cooperation, with students and educators from at least 10-different countries making the trip in early July.

Mr Roberts said it was “an honour” to be selected to attend the camp and experience the “once in a lifetime” opportunity.

“With its unknown factor, everyone is interested in space and this camp was a good opportunity to learn more about what is happening up there and bring that knowledge back to my classroom,” he said.

“It was an amazing experience that placed a premium on teamwork, putting me back into the position of a student and reminding me what it is like to be in a situation I may not be altogether comfortable with.”

During his visit, Mr Roberts was placed in a team with teachers from different nationalities and given a range of activities centred on science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) learning.

Mr Roberts said the highlight of the visit was performing a simulated lunar space mission.

“As a team, we were put into a simulator and sent to the moon to rescue stranded astronauts and fix the damaged space station,” he said.

“It was a very fun activity that required a lot of team work and communication – I’m happy to report that we made it back to Earth with no lives lost.”

Following five-days under the tutelage of NASA experts, Mr Roberts said he now had a range of new ideas to bring back into his classroom.

“In a fast-changing world, STEM learning is more important than ever and I will now try and implement all my new knowledge and ideas into my classroom at Emmanuel Christian College,” he said.

For more information about the International Space Camp, visit www.spacecamp.com.

Caption: 2015 ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards recipient Drew Roberts, from Emmanuel Christian School, centre, with fellow Australian representatives Abby Mather, of South Australia and Christopher Gallen, of Western Australia.