INNOVATION

Aussie Kids To Get School Experiments Blasted Into Orbit

An Aussie space startup is sending school projects into space.

04/12/2016 12:39 PM AEDT | Updated 04/12/2016 1:45 PM AEDT
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Cuberider is helping Aussie kids get their school projects into the ISS.

Australia's getting its first space mission. And Aussie school kids are making it happen.

Space startup Cuberider, founded by young entrepreneur Solange Cunin, is on the verge of propelling the nation's first delivery to the International Space Station.

The historic payload, due to blast off on Wednesday in a Japanese rocket, contains thousands of experiments from school children across Australia.

Cunin says it's all part of a mission to get kids enthused about space and science.

"We transform the science classrooms into a mission control centre and over the course of half a year they develop experiments for NASA ... and we send that up," she tells The Huffington Post Australia.

"It's not a competition, it's not selective. Everybody gets to be a rocket scientist and this year we have about 1000 students involved in the first run."

Cunin says after the cargo gets "shot up" to the International Space Station, astronauts unpack the projects and participants follow the progress back on Earth.

"All the experiments have been preloaded and tested here in Sydney and Houston so they should start running," she adds.

The bold project was started in 2015 and includes experiments from 60 schools nationwide on topics like Einstein's theory of relativity and how to create music and art in space.

The experiments are all written in Python computer code, which can be a neat introduction to coding for kids and teens.

Cuberider bills its program as "creating the next generation of Aussie leaders, innovators and problem solvers", with an emphasis on STEM subjects.

But it doesn't come cheap, with schools having to bankroll their involvement.

Cunin says to gain entry to the mission schools pay five dollars a month per student, with experiments being charged at "$1000 per 15-minutes in space".

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