Education Today Logo


Education Today Cover Browse Issue

High schoolers take on futuristic space design challenge

News Image

Ten high schools from Australia and New Zealand are one step closer to representing the Australasian region at the International Space Settlement Competition at Kennedy Space Centre as Space Design Competitions Australia announces finalists for the 2017 Australian Space Design Competition.

To qualify, students from Years 9 to 12 used their science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) skills to form fictional aeronautical firms and respond to a commercial Request for Tender. Their submission had to factor in all the challenges of a managing a remote space colony including zero-gravity design, waste management, nutrition provisions and tourism activities – to name a few.

Competition finalists

  • Calvary Christian College, Springwood (Queensland), Australia
  • Cannon Hill Anglican College, Brisbane (Queensland), Australia
  • Canterbury College, Waterford (Queensland), Australia
  • Corinda State High School, Brisbane (Queensland, Australia
  • The Hutchins School, Hobart (Tasmania), Australia
  • Padua College, Brisbane (Queensland), Australia
  • Rangitoto College, Mairangi Bay (Auckland) New Zealand
  • Sheldon College, Sheldon (Queensland), Australia
  • St Aidan’s Anglican Girl’s School, Brisbane (Queensland), Australia
  • St Laurence’s College, Brisbane (Queensland), Australia

Space Design Competitions Australia President David Shaw said while the challenge is fictional, the skills learned by students have significant practical application.

 “Space Design Competitions is proud to play even a small part in giving these students the skills they need as they move into university and the professional sector,” said Shaw.

“The high-tempo environment of the Australian Space Design Competition provides an opportunity for students to develop real-world STEM skills while encouraging innovation and business acumen.”

The Australian Space Design Competition Finals will be held from 13-14 January 2018 at the University of Queensland St Lucia Campus, Brisbane.

The winning team will travel to the United States to represent the Australasian region in the International Space Settlement Competition at Kennedy Space Centre, Florida in mid-2018.

Special Participant late entries open
There is still time to enter your school as a Special Participant wild card entry in the Australian Space Design Competition Finals. Contact David Shaw, President Space Design Competitions Australia, to register your interest:

Visit for competition information or watch this video from the National Finals held in early 2017.

24 Mar 2018 | National
Streaming is bad for slower students News Image

We do it as a matter of course, but streaming students looks more and more like it’s detrimental to slower students. But doing away with streaming isn’t the answer as less accomplished students progress best through structured instruction. Read More

24 Mar 2018 | National
Tests texts too taxing? News Image

We were always taught to answer the question in tests but it looks like understanding the question is often a problem in of itself and inaccessible instructions pose an obstacle to all students’ achievement. Read More

23 Mar 2018 | Melbourne
Construction starts on Wesley’s Glen Waverley campus redevelopment News Image

Following the loss of ten classrooms to a fire in 2016, Wesley College has commenced the construction of a new Glen Waverley Campus redevelopment. The redeveloped site will be world class and open late 2019. Read More

23 Mar 2018 | ANZ and Pacific
ANZ partnership to support education in Pacific News Image

The Australian and New Zealand governments together with the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) have formalised a €12.8 million commitment with the Pacific Community (SPC) towards education in the Pacific region. Read More

22 Mar 2018 | Germany
Kids’ invention saving millions of litres of water News Image

It’s World Water Day and we’d all be a lot better off if we gave as much thought to its conservation as German brother and sister Daniel and Lara Krohn (both aged 9). Read More