Our students often comment on a variety of different projects and afterschool clubs on offer, as a part of their Akademeia experience. What is unique – many of these clubs are student initiated and student run. One great example of such an extracurricular activity is the CanSat Club that runs on Saturdays.
Last academic year, we shared a fantastic success story of five Akademeia students who participated in the European Space Agency’s CanSat competition. Their goal was to design, build and launch their own satellite. Aleksy, Tymon, Maria, Henryk, and Mateusz spent months working away on their own satellite, called ‘Air Thief’. Its mission was to sample a mysterious microbiome of Earth’s atmosphere at over 2000 meters altitude and deliver any life discovered there safely back to the ground for further analysis in a sterile lab.
The competition was fierce as over 50 teams took part in the selection process. Our students’ design impressed the jury of the European Space Agency’s CanSat competition, allowing ‘Air Thief’ to launch the experiment, as one of just five such capsules aboard a powerful sounding rocket in the summer of this year. Finally, our team finished in third place in the general classification of the national finals, which was a fantastic accomplishment.
There is a continuation of this story, as the winning team decided to pass on their experience to their younger peers. After sharing their own learnings from the journey during the school assemblies, they invited peers to join in the CanSat afterschool club this year, as a great chance to expand the knowledge, meet new people, but also learn how to collaborate and work on a complex project as a team. The students advertised their own afterschool club, which became so popular that now under the eye of experienced student mentors and a supporting teacher there are two new teams meeting every Saturday in the CanSat afterschool club.
Aleksy, Air Thief Team Leader, said, ‘Working on the satellite and going through the whole process was so much fun for us, that we really wanted more students to share this unforgettable experience.’
To read more about the initial Air Thief project, please see: https://www.airthief.net/