At Walford, we are serious about addressing the under-representation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. This is where many jobs of the future lie and it is vital that females are not excluded from these career pathways. We are proud that more than 55% of our graduates enter STEM related pathways and we remain committed to providing interesting, fun and engaging STEM experiences that show how related careers can be accessible and exciting.
NASA Space School
Walford is the only girls’ school in South Australia to offer a bespoke STEM tour which includes an up and close experience at NASA Space School! During their five day camp at the Kennedy Space Centre, students undertake a simulated mission which sees them working in teams on the International Space Station and at ground control, undertaking real life problem solving exercises. The use of hydraulic technology enables girls to experience the weightlessness of gravity in space, as they manage shuttle repairs in readiness for their return flight home. During the camp, students lunch with astronauts, undertake g-force training and launch rockets.
Following Space Camp, the tour continues with a STEM focus. A raft of tailored activities to show where a career in STEM can lead are incorporated into the trip, including a behind the scenes tour of Universal Studios with engineers to better understand the physics behind adventure rides, a tour of the National Ignition Facility (NFI) and a visit to iFly. Other experiences are planned in advance with the touring group to enable a highly personalised itinerary to be delivered.
This is but one life-changing opportunity available at Walford.
Head of Science
“The STEM Tour is designed to immerse students in STEM experiences and career pathways that they are unlikely to experience in Australia or on a family holiday. Every activity has a learning component related to science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
The main activity is a space camp held in Huntsville, Alabama. Students explore the mental, emotional and physical demands of being an astronaut and learn about Space Stations and Mission Control. Students design and test a virtual reality Mars rover and participate in a range of simulations. Additionally, students spend time in a Neutral Buoyancy Trainer. This is an underwater SCUBA trainer, a smaller version of the Underwater Astronaut Trainer.
The tour also travels to Orlando, Florida to visit the Kennedy Space where students experience a simulated shuttle launch, walk through a full-scale space shuttle and learn about the most powerful rocket ever built, the Apollo Saturn V moon rocket. Students also meet and have lunch with a NASA astronaut. Other highlights include an airboat ride along the Everglades and a visit to Universal Studios which includes an exclusive educational program. Another attraction is the visit to the U.S. Department of Energy National Ignition Facility in San Fransisco (home to the world’s largest and highest-energy laser system which is investigating nuclear fusion as a future energy source).”
“The Walford trip was a once in a lifetime experience. Highlights of the trip were the bus tour in San Francisco, visiting Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, Space Camp, learning about space missions and experiencing simulated space missions!”
“The STEM trip was the perfect opportunity to learn about Space and other STEM subjects at some of the most highly-regarded industries in the world, while forming inseparable bonds with classmates and meeting new people from all over the world.”