An expansion of the national Kids in Space program this year will see 13 South Australian schools take the inspiring leap into space education.

In an exciting development for STEM education, 13 South Australian schools have been announced as the latest participants in the Andy Thomas Space Foundation’s national Kids in Space schools program – up from eight participating schools in 2023.

The Australian-first initiative – delivered in partnership with Makers Empire – is designed to captivate students through exciting, space-themed STEM learning and design thinking, introducing students to space technology and raising awareness of future job opportunities within the industry.

Each of the participating schools is set to receive a $6,500 package, encompassing professional development training and various tools and resources including a 3D printer to assist them in their design development.

Acting Executive Director at the Andy Thomas Space Foundation, Peter Nikoloff, shared his enthusiasm for the program’s growing success.

“We received close to 700 expressions of interest from teachers across Australia keen to take part in Kids in Space 2024,” Mr Nikoloff said. “We’re excited to continue encouraging more students and teachers to develop an interest in space.”

Representing a state-wide commitment to STEM learning, the South Australian schools participating in this year’s program are Coomandook Area School, Elizabeth Downs Primary School, Riverdale Primary School, Kaurna Plains School, Melaleuca Park Primary School, Virginia Primary School, St Francis Lockleys, IQRA College, St Joseph’s Ottoway, St Peter’s Woodlands Grammar School, Uraidla Primary School, Westport Primary School and Eudunda Area School.

They will join an estimated 100 schools across the country taking part in the nationwide program, which will see the state-base showcases events kick off in Queensland in June. Participating schools in Queensland, South Australia, the Northern Territory and New South Wales have now been announced, with schools selected for VIC, TAS, ACT and WA to be announced soon. This latest news that will see the program grow by around 40% in 2024 is a great achievement for the program, which was first piloted in South Australia in 2021 and last year impacted around 10,000 primary and middle school students Australia-wide.

SASIC is a proud supporter of The Andy Thomas Space Foundation, which drives programs such as Kids in Space, casting a bright light on the future of STEM education and future growth for the sector.

Learn more about the Kids in Space program.