Beckenham pupils in ‘once in a lifetime’ NASA trip

Students from a Beckenham girls’ school recently embarked on an experience of a lifetime when they visited US space agency NASA in Florida.

A total of 28 students from Harris Girls’ Academy Bromley, based in Beckenham, visited the NASA centre in Cape Canaveral where they learnt about the logistics of a space launch.

The students relished the challenge of launching a mission in the Discovery simulator as well as climbing the anti-gravity wall and spinning on the multi-axis trainer.

The group visited the Kennedy Space Centre, where they enjoyed a cinematic experience about the history of space travel and NASA. This culminated in the screen lifting to reveal Atlantis, a space shuttle that went on 33 return trips to space.

The girls got to speak to former NASA astronaut Jon McBride about his experiences in space. In addition to their experiences at NASA, the group made the most of their time in Florida by visiting Universal Studios and Miami Beach – as well as taking in an NBA basketball game in Orlando.

Verity, a Year 11 student, said: “This once in a lifetime opportunity has truly shown me the fun in science. This trip was jam-packed with amazing activities every day.”

David Astin, principal of Harris Girls’ Academy Bromley, added: “This was a fantastic educational opportunity for our students, allowing them to see real space technology up close and giving them the chance to ask a former astronaut about his voyages.

“We know that it is important, especially as an all-girls school, to offer these kinds of inspirational extracurricular experiences in the world of STEM. We believe that Harris Girls’ Academy Bromley students will be among the brilliant mathematicians, engineers and scientists of tomorrow.”