Over six days during the recent winter school holidays, 20 SPCC students from Middle and Senior School competed in the International SpaceCRAFT Exploration Challenge.

The SPCC Newcastle Senior School team came FIRST in the High School division, and the SPCC Newcastle Middle School team came FIRST in the Middle School division, placing them FIRST and SECOND overall respectively – with a margin of 0.1 points between them! Three other SPCC teams also placed in the top seven in the High School division.

All up, 46 teams from countries including Australia, India, Egypt, Ireland, Taiwan, Dubai, the UK and USA, competed in the challenge. It provided students the opportunity to learn directly from NASA astronauts about a range of complex operations involved in undertaking interplanetary space missions.

Students utilised a specially designed software platform called SpaceCraft that gave instant and scientifically accurate feedback, relative to the challenge they were addressing that day. Experiences gained through participation in high-level STEM competitions provide unique learning opportunities for students, well outside the scope of regular school curriculums.

In 2021 a team from SPCC Newcastle was generously sponsored by RDA Hunter to enter the International SpaceCRAFT Exploration Challenge, and after achieving success, applied for federal funding to enable a number of teams to compete in the 2022 challenge.