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NASA Inspiring NT Students to Reach for the Stars

Office of the Chief Minister

Aspiring astronauts, aerospace engineers and astrophysicists have been given a life-changing experience with the visit of NASA Science Engineers to Territory schools. 

Taminmin College students were today given the opportunity to learn from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineers at the school’s new $12.7 million Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Centre.

The Territory Labor Government is positioning the Northern Territory to benefit from opportunities in the growing space economy, which globally is set to be worth USD $1 Trillion by 2030.

NASA confirmed in May it will launch sounding rockets into space from the Arnhem Space Centre, near Nhulunbuy, next year.

NASA engineer Todd Barber is part of a team which has this week spoken to a number of Territory students and visited schools in Maningrida and Nhulunbuy, and will visit Darwin schools tomorrow.

They have shared first-hand experiences in working in space science, aerospace and astrophysics industry with students and teachers.

Students also got an insight into how some of these engineers led propulsion teams on a range of space missions to Saturn and Mars.

The NASA school visits supports the Northern Territory Government’s STEM in the Territory 2018-2022 Strategy – which informs the delivery of STEM in our schools.

The visit to Territory schools has been co-ordinated by One Giant Leap Australia, which is working to ensure future generations of Australians reach their full potential in STEM.

 Quotes attributable to Minister for Children and Chief Minister Michael Gunner.

“The opportunity to have NASA engineers share stories about the work they do in the Space industry opens up whole new frontier of job possibilities for young Territorians.

“The Arnhem Space Centre will allow our next generation to be part of the burgeoning Space economy. It will help drive innovation, create direct and indirect jobs in our own backyard and it will diversify our economy.

“The Australian Government estimates in the next 10 years our domestic space industry could grow to employ 20,000 people and be worth A$12 Billion.

“We are positioning ourselves to be a part of that.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Selena Uibo

“The Territory Labor Government’s STEM in the NT strategy is preparing our students for the jobs of the future.

“We know STEM is a growing and evolving industry, and that 75 per cent of the fastest growing jobs worldwide are in these fields.

“To have world-class leaders in space science in our Territory schools, including some of our remote schools, is an amazing opportunity for our students to learn from the best in the business.”

Quotes attributable to Senior Propulsion Engineer from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Todd Barber.

“It’s always a delight to share our recent discoveries in space science with students; to make them realise that the cosmos is for everybody.

“It’s unbelievable for us to have the opportunity to visit students in the Northern Territory; to get them fired up about STEM and inspire them to go into STEM careers when they leave school.”


Media contacts:         

Chief Minister - Andrea Allen 0401 119 467

Minister Uibo – Kim Stephens 0417 683 144

One Giant Leap – Jackie Carpenter 0412 326 509


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